Flowers Considers Irish Nationwide

JC Flowers, a US private equity group headed by Christopher Flowers, is considering adding to its current tally of banking targets by making an offer for Irish Nationwide Building Society.

The Irish Times said that JC Flowers has partnered with Icelandic bank Kaupthing to run the rule over a bid of up to EUR1.5bn (US$2.2bn) for Irish Nationwide. Kaupthing is currently in the process of buying Dutch bank NIBC from JC Flowers.

JC Flowers met with the board of ailing bank Northern Rock yesterday regarding its Paul Myners-fronted bid, which would involve an immediate repayment of Gbp15bn out of the Gbp22bn owed to the UK government.

The US-based private equity firm is also understood to be in the running to buy the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia's 38% stake in Germany's Landesbank WestLB.

Christopher Flowers is credited with the turnaround of Shinsei bank in the 1990s. According to recent reports, he is considering an attempt to increase his remaining 6% stake in the Japanese bank to 32.6%.