Norwich and Peterborough rule out JC Flowers takeover

by SAM WILLIAMS, Senior business writer
Monday, October 25, 2010
5:31 PM

Rumours of a planned bid for Norwich & Peterborough Building Society have been dismissed as “pure speculation” by the company.

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Media reports have suggested US private equity group JC Flowers is lining up for a bid for the society and three others under plans to establish a “supermutual” with 1.7 million members which could be floated on the stock market within five years.

But officials at the N&P said they had received no approach from the American company and ruled out such a move.

The Observer newspaper reported JC Flowers was also considering bids for West Bromwich, Skipton and Principality societies.

The company is already in the process of buying a 40pc stake in Kent Reliant, which could be a platform for further UK expansion.

JC Flowers declined to comment, but it is understood the business is considering further deals with smaller societies which would benefit from capital investment. No decisions have yet been confirmed as to which societies would be targeted.

A spokeswoman for N&P said the company had not been contacted by the US firm, adding: “This is pure speculation. We have no reason to enter talks with JC Flowers.

“We don’t have any shortage of capital, we are actually one of the best capitalised building societies and we don’t need to be talking to them.”

The society employs about 800, half at its Peterborough headquarters and half across its network of branches.

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