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Lloyds to make £450m from selling 15% stake in SJP

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Lloyds Banking Group will make £450m from selling a further 15 per cent stake in St James’s Place.

Lloyds announced it will sell 77 million shares in the firm last week with an offering of 580p after SJP shares rocketed in recent months.

In March, Lloyds disposed of a 20 per cent stake in SJP for £400m when the share price was 510p.

It agreed a 365-day “lock-in” period when it could sell no more of its stake, but advisers Merrill Lynch agreed to waive the agreement. 

The lock-in will remain in place for the rest of the year and cannot be waived for at least 180 days, meaning the bank cannot sell its remaining 21 per cent stake.

Lloyds says it “continues to be supportive” of SJP’s management team.

The bank says the sale is due to the Prudential Regulation Authority’s assessment that the bank has a capital shortfall and it expects its core position to improve by £500m as a result. The PRA found a £25bn black hole in bank balance sheets in a report published in March this year.

The bank inherited a 57 per cent stake in the advice firm when it bought HBOS in 2008 and now holds 110 million St James’s Place shares, which equates to roughly 21 per cent of the advice firm.

Hudson Green & Associates partner Ian Hudson says: “Lloyds is simply capitalising on the profits it has made while the stock is well priced.”

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