Former Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche, who was forced out of the company last month over a loans sale scandal, has been speaking to private equity firms and banks about raising money for a possible buyout of the online lender he co-founded, according to Reuters.
Citing sources, Reuters says that Laplanche began talks on financing a possible buyout of Lending Club soon after he was ousted. However, discussions were preliminary and may not lead to any deal.
Laplanche left the online lender after an internal review found that $22 million in near-prime loans were sold to an institutional investor that did not want them. The application date on $3 million of the loans was altered to make them look like they met the investor's requirements.
Laplanche also faced questions about an undisclosed investment he made in a company, called Cirrix, which buys Lending Club loans.
The scandal has prompted a Department of Justice probe while the New York Department of Financial Services is also looking into the lender - factors which could stymie Laplanche's efforts to raise money.
On Tuesday Lending Club postponed it annual shareholder meeting and revealed that its second largest shareholder, Baillie Gifford & Co, has sold off its entire stake over the scandal.
James Anderson, head, global equities, Baillie Gifford, says: "We’d tried hard to be supportive long-term shareholders, but we can’t continue to support a company after an executive (or former executive) is suspected of dishonesty."