Blackstone, P.E.-Owned Credit Card Co., May Buy Internet Bank

Nov 8 2010 | 10:59am ET

Private equity giant the Blackstone Group is eyeing a Citigroup-owned internet bank.

Blackstone and SAV Credit, a credit card company owned by Electra Partners, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, Palamon Capital Partners and Varde Partners, are among the potential bidders for Egg Banking. Citi is selling the internet bank as part of its plan to offload non-core assets, just three years after buying Egg from Prudential for US$1.13 billion.

A Blackstone-led deal for Egg would create one of the U.K.'s biggest credit card companies, in partnership with SAV. It would also come as private equity firms have become increasingly active in buying up banks.

However, Blackstone and SAV will have to top Ally Financial and Barclays, among other possible bidders, to make that a reality.

Earlier this year, Blackstone applied for a British bank charter. The firm, along with Cambridge Place Investment Management, is considering the launch of a new bank. Blackstone is also mulling the launch of a US$1 billion blind pool to buy failed banks.

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