PE Consortium in Bank of Ireland Due Diligence

DUBLIN (Reuters) – An Irish-led consortium has entered into preliminary due diligence with Bank of Ireland (BKIR.I: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and could buy a 60 percent stake if a deal is struck, the Irish Independent reported on Wednesday. A Bank of Ireland spokeswoman declined to comment.

The Irish Independent, which did not cite any sources, said the consortium called Mallabraca had a 5 billion euro ($6.5 billion) fund.

Mallabraca, headed by Irish investment company Cardinal Asset Management and including U.S. private equity groups, had met with Bank of Ireland’s management team, the report said. Cardinal Asset Management was not immediately available for comment.

The Irish Independent said the consortium had told the Irish government during separate talks it was looking at a five to 10 year potential investment.

(Reporting by Jonathan Saul; Editing by David Holmes)