Glasgow-based Clydesdale Bank was set to float on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday (2 February) but was forced to postpone because of a credit-rating issue. The lender was set to be spun off from owner National Australia Bank (NAB).
Clydesdale Bank, which also consists of Yorkshire Bank, said that it received some pressing question from an unnamed rating agency, leading to the delay in the Initial Public Offering (IPO). According to the bank's management, the questions regarded Clydesdale Bank's deposit rating. The assessment of the deposit rating assessment could result in a downgrate of short- and/or long-term deposit rating, the lender said. It added that it did not expect a material impact on its financial outlook or funding costs, but a possible outgrade would require the bank to "take mitigating actions in relation to its existing secured funding programmes".
Clydesdale Bank is still expected to float, listing 25% of shares on the stock exchange, while NAB shareholders will receive the remaining three quarters of shares.
"While we have a very short delay in launching the IPO, it is very important that we commence trading as an independent company in the best possible way," Clydesdale chief executive David Duffy said. "We have made excellent progress with the transaction and we have very strong interest in our story."
The lender is set to float on Wednesday (3 Feburary) at 180p a share, at the bottom of the price range announced earlier in January. The stock pricing would value Clydesdale Bank £1.58bn, only half of its book value.
NAB has been trying to dispose of Clydesdale and Yorkshire bank for years but has failed to find a potential buyer. The Glaswegian lender has been involved with scandals such as payment-protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling. The City thought Clydesdale had survived the 2008 banking crisis without a major dip or collapse but issues came to light in the years after. The 177-year-old Clydesdale Bank is also keen on being spun off from NAB to focus its efforts on the UK market.
"The de-merger allows each business to focus on improving performance in their home markets and on business priorities that will maximise value for their respective shareholders," said NAB chief Andrew Thorburn.