By Max Colchester
Bank of America Corp. has relaunched the sale of one of the U.K.'s biggest credit card companies MBNA, according to people familiar with the matter.
The card business, which has about 5 million customers and a loan book of around GBP7 billion ($10.2 billion), is being shopped to a number of potential buyers including Lloyds Banking Group PLC, according to people familiar with the matter.
Bank of America decided to sell the U.K. MBNA cards business in 2011 as it ditched several international credit card businesses to bolster its balance sheet. But the sale of the U.K. business was axed a year later. Virgin Money, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in conjunction with Apollo Management LP, had looked at the business back then.
MBNA, which has about an 11% market share of the U.K. credit card market, is now attracting interest from U.K. retail banks looking to put their excess capital reserves to work.
Lloyds, for instance, has been trying to grow its credit card business and executives have said in the past it would look at acquisitions of specific loan portfolios. Up until recently the part-nationalized lender was blocked from making acquisitions.
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