Ireland’s EBS bid deadline extended to Jan 17-papers

DUBLIN, Dec 16 (BestGrowthStock) – The deadline to submit bids for
Ireland’s largest building society EBS [EBSBS.UL] has been
extended to Jan. 17, Irish newspapers reported on Thursday.

Ireland’s government on Wednesday injected an additional 525
million euros ($699.4 million) into EBS via special investment
shares that will be translated into ordinary shares if the
building society is converted into a company. [ID:nLDE6BE0BF]

Bancassurer Irish Life & Permanent (IPM.I: ) and Dublin-based
private equity group Cardinal Asset Management, with backing
from Carlyle Group [CYL.UL] and U.S. investor Wilbur Ross, are
competing to take over EBS.

Cardinal is seen as the frontrunner because Irish Life has
said it will need to raise an additional 925 million euros if
its bid is successful.

“A new deadline of January 17 has been set for final bids
from the remaining two parties in the race,” the Irish Times
reported on Thursday.

Irish Life, the only major Irish lender to avoid a state
bailout, said on Wednesday its director and chairwoman Gillian
Bowler, would retire. Bowler said on Thursday she expected the
bid deadline to extend beyond Jan. 17.

“I think the deadline may be progressed beyond that. We are
still very much in the picture,” Bowler said on RTE radio.

“It has been a frustrating month with the IMF coming in and
the inability to move projects forward,” she said.

Ireland was forced to seek an 85 billion euro EU/IMF bailout
after a property bubble ruined banks’ balance sheets. Under the
terms of the aid package, Ireland must “overcapitalise” its
lenders and EBS will need to raise an additional 438 million
euros by the end of February to bring its Core Tier 1 capital to
13.5 percent.

Irish Life has to raise a total of 243 million euros to
bring its Core Tier 1 ratio to 12.7 percent. Shares in the
lender edged up 0.3 percent to 1.1 euros by 0835 GMT.

The government has already poured 350 million euros — 100
million euros in special investment shares and 250 million euros
in promissory notes — into EBS to cover losses on property
loans and meet tougher capital requirements.

The special investment shares give the finance minister
control of EBS which, before the financial crisis, was owned by
its members, including the composition of the board and passing
of members’ resolutions.
($1=.7506 Euro)
(Reporting by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Hans Peters)

Ireland’s EBS bid deadline extended to Jan 17-papers