Egg approaches sell-by date

Egg approaches sell-by date

Egg is just 'days away' from being taken over by US credit card company Capital One after Prudential, which owns 79% of the online bank, set a deadline of two weeks for the $1.4bn deal to be concluded, according to a report by The Sunday Times.

According to the report, a deal could be agreed in time for Egg's half-year results on Thursday, but may take another two weeks and is still not guaranteed.

It was reported that Jonathan Bloomer, Prudential's chief executive, has told advisers that if the sale is not concluded "soon" he will scrap it and keep the online bank independent.

Prudential announced in January that it was in talks to auction its majority stake in Egg, which is the UK's largest online bank. At the time, US credit card firm MBNA was identified as the main bidder, although Royal Bank of Scotland, Citibank and HSBC have also been rumoured as potential buyers. Capital One emerged as favourite to buy Egg after talks between Prudential and MBNA stalled.

Egg said last week that its was shutting down its loss-making unit in France, in an attempt to make it more attractive to buyers.

By mid-morning, shares in Egg were up 4.6% to 158.50 pence.

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