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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a723601

Lloyds to sell remaining 21% stake in SJP

by James Phillipps on Dec 09, 2013 at 16:45

Lloyds to sell remaining 21% stake in SJP

Lloyds is to sell its remaining 21% stake in St. James's Place (SJP), which is expected to net a £95 million gain.

In a stock market announcement, the bank said the move follows the expiry of the 180 unwaivable lock up period agreed between Lloyds and BofA Merrill Lynch (BofAML) at the time of its last share sale back in May. Lloyds will seek institutional shareholders for the placing and the price will be agreed between Lloyds and BofAML at the close of the bookbuilding process.

Lloyds has been reducing its holding in SJP througout the year as part of its strategy to offload non-core assets and strengthen its balance sheet. It sold a 20% stake in the wealth manager in March for £520 million and a further 15% in May, raising £450 million gross with the two sales reducing its holding from 57% to 21%.

The upcoming sale will push the total proceeeds from Lloyds' sale of SJP to over £1 billion.

The forthcoming placing will increase Lloyds tier 1 capital by around £670 million, equivalent to a 24 basis point uplift.

Lloyds chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio (pictured) said: 'The group launched its strategy in 2011 to reshape the business to concentrate on its core UK retail and commercial banking customers. As part of that approach, the group has been reducing non-core businesses and addressing historic issues, while focusing on increasing net lending to its core segments.

'The sale of the remaining stake in St. James's Place releases further resources and represents another step towards refocusing this business on its core customers.'

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