UK energy business Centrica has sold its 70% stake in loss-making Goldfish credit card venture to partner bank Lloyds TSB.
The move to offload Goldfish comes just a day after Centrica told investors it remained committed to the business. Shares in the utility dipped yesterday as the company reported a first-half operating loss of £30 million at Goldfish, despite exceeding expectations elsewhere in its business.
Under the agreement, Lloyds TSB is to buy out Goldfish Bank for a premium of £112.5 million, or 13.7 per cent of net credit card receivables of £900 million. Centrica, which will get around 70% of that premium, estimates a net loss on completion of the sale of about £45 million.
Lloyds TSB believes the financial performance of the acquired credit card and personal loan businesses will be improved by being wholly owned by the group. The bank says it expects to achieve cost efficiencies and revenue growth by integrating the Goldfish businesses with its own operating platform.
Peter Ayliffe, group executive director, UK retail banking, says: "We are getting a strong brand and a high quality customer base which are valuable additions to our growing businesses. With our scale and expertise, we are in a good position to maximise efficiencies, grow revenues and offer customers more choice."