Bids are due tomorrow for British online bank Egg Banking, and a pair of private equity firms appear likely to be battling each other for control of the lender.
The Blackstone Group and TPG are expected to submit offers, according to published reports. Barclays is also mulling a bid to buy Egg, which current owner Citigroup is offloading three-and-a-half-years after buying it.
Citi paid US$1.13 billion to buy Egg from Prudential in 2007. It is not expected to get anything near that in this second round of bidding.
According to Dow Jones Newswires, Blackstone is the likely front-runner to buy Egg. The New York-based private equity giant has teamed with p.e.-backed credit card company SAV Credit on its bid.
If the Blackstone-SAV group is successful, Blackstone is likely to merge SAV and Egg and control the combined entity, which would be one of the U.K.'s biggest credit-card companies. SAV is owned by Electra Partners, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, Palamon Capital Partners and Varde Partners.