London clearer LCH.Clearnet is considering buying out its shareholders and converting into a user-owned utility in a bid to fend off a takeover bid from an Icap-led consortium of banks, according to the Financial Times.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the FT says that after the conversion, the clearer would invite its 120 shareholders to buy back in.
Last October LCH.Clearnet inked a non-binding agreement to sell to US-based Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) in a deal valuing the European firm at EUR739 million, or EUR10 a share.
The preliminary agreement was set to be finalised this month but was put in doubt when it emerged in February that the European consortium - which includes Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, UBS, BNP Paribas, SocGen, RBS, HSBC and Citigroup - is considering a potential cash counter offer.
The group is expected to make its bid next week, prompting LCH.Clearnet to look into using clearing revenues from last year to fund a buy-out of its shareholders at EUR10 a share before inviting them to buy back at EUR1.5, making use of the clearer conditional on being a shareholder.
The idea is likely to be raised at a board meeting next week, says the FT.
LCH.Clearnet aims to buy out investors - FT