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OneSavings Bank slides as JC Flowers sells 10% stake

OneSavings Bank was in the red on Wednesday after private investment firm JC Flowers & Co sold around 24.3m shares in the company.
The shares, which represent a stake of around 10%, were sold at 390p each - a 6% discount to the closing price on Tuesday - generating gross proceeds of around £95m for the JC Flowers funds.

Citi and Credit Suisse acted as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners in the transaction and Rothschild acted as the sole financial adviser to JC Flowers.

In October 2017, Flowers sold 20m shares in the challenger bank, equivalent to an 8% stake. The shares were sold at 375p each via an accelerated bookbuild, raising gross proceeds of £75m for the funds.

In March 2017, JC Flowers sold 24.3m shares at 395p each.

Investec said: "We recognise that JCF's residual holding of circa 25m shares (10%) constitutes a continuing 'overhang', albeit subject to a fresh 'lock-up' (with customary exceptions) up to the FY17 results on 15 March. However, looking through this
'transitory' issue, we believe the stock now offers clear value."

The brokerage added: "We think substantially all recent market data has offered real encouragement for the sub-sector. OSB enjoyed a 33% YoY increase in new business originations to £677m in Q3 2017. At an industry level, October buy-to-let lending of £3.4bn was the strongest single month since the April 2016 stamp duty changes, and we expect Q4 2017 to be the best quarter for buy-to-let lending since Q1 2016."

Investec reaffirmed its 'buy' rating on OneSavings and 455p price target.

Meanwhile, Canaccord Genuity reiterated its 'buy' rating and 500p price target o the stock and said any weakness following the JC Flowers sale is a buying opportunity.

"With the shares sold at a 6% discount to last night's close price, we think demand for the shares remains robust despite JC Flowers' significant reduction over the past year. In light of recent M&A amongst UK specialist lenders, we do not view OneSavings as a likely bid target and we think JC Flowers' continued sell-down supports this view."

At 0900 GMT, the shares were down 4% to 398.60p.

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