The Irish government will announce today (Monday) that Cardinal Asset Management, an American private equity firm, will be one of the two shortlisted buyers for the state-run building society EBS. Irish Life & Permanent, an Ireland-based institution, will be the other bidder.
Cardinal Asset Management, backed by the Carlyle Group and U.S. investor Wilbur Ross beat off interest from rival buyout firms such as JC Flowers and Doughty Hanson. The Cardinal team is said to have $5 billion line dup to buy other assets also.
EBS needs an investment of around $1 billion to cover losses on the sale of $1 .3billion in loans to the National Asset Management Agency (Nama), which has been buying the billions of euros in bad loans now held by the various state-run Irish banks.
The shortlist was welcomed by financial figures, as it had been felt that the sale of EBS had been taking far too long.