Lloyds Banking Group is planning to sell 21% stake in its wealth manager St James’s Place, to increase liquidity and focus on retail banking businesses in the UK.
Under the plan, Lloyds will sell about 109 million ordinary shares in St James’s Place and expects to realise a gain of approximately £95m.
Lloyds purchased St James’s Place as part of its acquisition of banking and insurance firm, HBOS, in 2008.
The disposal of 21% stake will make St James’s Place a fully independent firm since its formation in 1990. Earlier, Lloyds sold SJP’s shares in March and May 2013, and also recently sold its Scottish Widows Investment Partnership unit for £560m to Aberdeen Asset Management.
Lloyds Banking Group CEO, Antonio Horta-Osorio, said 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 toward refocusing this business on its core customers," Horta-Osorio added.
The proceeds from the sale of St James’s Place will allow Lloyds to increase its common equity tier one capital ratio by approximately £670m, equivalent to a 24 basis points benefit.