Home Capital received Onex, Brookfield approaches: Reuters

Home Capital Group Inc has received takeover approaches led by Canadian private equity firms Onex Corp and Brookfield Asset Management but is moving ahead with plans to stay independent, Canada’s Globe & Mail newspaper reported on Thursday.

The Globe & Mail cited a source close to the process as saying the offers received to date were “speculative, conditional and not that attractive”. It said the company was working on plans to restore its financial health, through steps including the sale of smaller lines of business.

Brookfield declined to comment. Home Capital and Onex did not respond to requests for comment.

Depositors have withdrawn 95 percent of funds from Home Capital’s high interest savings accounts since March 27, when the company terminated the employment of former Chief Executive Martin Reid.

The withdrawals accelerated after April 19, when the Ontario Securities Commission, Canada’s biggest securities regulator, accused Home Capital of making misleading statements to investors about its mortgage underwriting business.

The company has said the accusations are without merit. Its funding has stabilized.

The Globe & Mail report cited a source close to the process as saying the decision in April to entertain takeover offers was made in haste and with the company now stabilized, “a takeover may not be the best outcome for shareholders.”

Update: In May, sources told Reuters that Apollo Global Management, Blackstone Group and Centerbridge Partners were among potential suitors studying bids for Home Capital, Canada’s biggest alternative mortgage lender. Brookfield was also mentioned as a possible buyer.

Reuters subsequently reported that Apollo, Cerberus Capital ManagementFortress Investment Group and others were talking with the company about acquiring some of its assets.

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of PE Hub Canada)

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