Banking: Flemish-owned KBC to sell Peel Hunt
The Flemish bank and insurance group KBC has put its London brokerage and corporate finance house Peel Hunt up for sale, according to the British paper The Independent.
KBC has suffered badly from the effects of the global crisis and has already been forced to borrow around EUR 7 billion from the government.
Officials from KBC are looking to London’s financial district to ascertain if there is any interest in buying this asset.
The sale of Peel Hunt in the current economic climate is likely to spell a big loss for KBC on its original investment, for which they paid EUR 242,696,000 in 2000. Sources in London now believe that KBC will be forced to sell it for a knock-down price.
It is believed that a management buyout led by its current chief executive, Simon Hayes, is the most probable option.
However, others such as the brokerage Collins Stewart have also been cited as possible buyers.
KBC is currently carrying out a broad strategic review in preparation for a report that it is due to submit to the European Commission.
Other assets likely to appear on the market in the coming months include KBC's Irish retail banking operation.