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September 9, 2010    

Lloyds offloads Crest Nicholson stake

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by Kay Murchie

Banking giant Lloyds has confirmed it has disposed of its stake in housebuilder Crest Nicholson to US investment fund Varde.

The sale comes shortly after Lloyds offloaded its private equity business to Coller Capital for £332 million, and its Ecuadorian branch assets for $25 million.

The price tag of the Crest Nicholson disposal was not disclosed but the Financial Times reported it to be in the region of £150 million.

A spokesperson said: “Lloyds Banking Group has reached an agreement in principle to sell its debt and equity stake in Crest Nicholson for a cash consideration.”

It added: “Lloyds Banking Group hopes to continue to support Crest Nicholson by providing its day to day banking services.”

Like the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, which is 43% owned by the taxpayer, has to sell assets under the orders of the European Commission as a punishment of the billions of pounds in state aid that both banks received by the Government at the height of the financial crisis.

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