NEW YORK (The Deal) -- The U.K.'s Metro Bank plans to sit out the current stampede of "challenger" bank initial public offerings and will instead target a mid-2016 listing aiming to raise about £300 million ($452 million) in new money, said founder Vernon Hill.
Metro, which in 2010 became the first full-service bank to launch in the U.K. in more than a century, is one of a crop of recently created or restructured banks aiming to capitalize on public discontent with the Big Four -- Lloyds Banking Group (LYG), Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS), HSBC Holdings (HSBC) and Barclays (BCS) -- and the post-credit crisis regulatory issues dogging those banks.
Metro's existing shareholders include Hill, with about 10%, Fidelity Investments, Wellington Management and SAC Capital Advisors founder Steve Cohen. Hill expects the IPO would value the business at more than £1 billion.
"The most I can say is mid-year," said Hill of the timing. "None of the stakeholders are selling shares."
Metro has raised £650 million in four layers of private capital and Hill said it isn't tempted to follow challenger bank peers -- including Aldermore Group and Shawbrook Group and potentially National Australia Bank Ltd.'s unwanted subsidiary Clydesdale Bank -- to the market this year. Recent IPOs in the sector have also included last year's listings for Richard Branson and Wilbur Ross-backed Virgin Money Holdings, TSB Banking Group and JC Flowers & Co.'s OneSavings Bank.