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November 22, 2021

Legal & General sells stake in Metro Bank as Carlyle calls off buyout talks

UK-based Legal & General has reportedly divested its stake in the mid-sized lender Metro Bank for an undisclosed sum.

Legal & General was Metro Bank’s biggest city shareholder but is now out of its top 20 list.

Legal & General has offloaded its stake in the lender twice in recent weeks, including the day before American private equity firm Carlyle ended talks to acquire Metro Bank, The Telegraph reported citing regulatory filings.

Commenting on the deal an L&G spokesperson stated that the divesture is “part of an ongoing wider reduction of a large basket of stocks across index funds”.

Last week, Carlyle called off the talks to buy Metro Bank just two weeks after the announcement was made.

The buyout offer gave hopes that Carlyle could help revive the struggling Metro Bank, which was established in 2010.

The mid-sized lender has been struggling after it reported a misreporting scandal in 2019. Its shares have dropped over 90% ever since.

Notably, in 2019, Legal & General opposed the re-election of Metro Bank’s founder and former chairman Vernon Hill due to corporate governance concerns.

In the Q3 trading update, Metro Bank CEO Daniel Frumkin said that the bank’s business had improved and was witnessing a “gradual return to normalcy”.

A Metro Bank spokesperson said: “It is not appropriate for us to comment on the investment decisions of our shareholders.”

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