Lloyds sells remaining SJP stake as ‘lock-up’ waived again

Lloyds Banking Group has sold its remaining shareholding in restricted advice firm St James’s Place, after a ‘lock-up’ agreement put in place six months ago and that was supposed to run for a full year was waived by the bank’s bookrunner.

This is the second time since an initial divestment in March that the Bank has sold shares in spite of an agreement to hold its shareholding.

Lloyds told FTAdviser that the lock-up agreement could be waived if the bookrunner, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, agreed, and that the sale did not therefore constitute a breach of any agreement.

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In March, Lloyds realised approximately £400m in a sale of SJP shares and agreed to keep its reduced stake for at least one year. However, in May the bank put a further 77m of SJP shares up for sale looking to net about £450m. Again, the bank said it would not sell more shares for at least a year.

Now it has once again opted out of that ‘lock-up’ agreement following the end of a 180-day period during which it was not able to do so, and placed its remaining 109m shares in SJP for sale at 630p per share, looking to raise about £680m, representing a net gain of £105m.

This follows an announcement yesterday (9 December) that Lloyds was set to offload its remaining 21 per cent stake in the advice firm.

Following the sale, Lloyds will no longer hold any SJP shares.