Today’s Co-operative Bank purchase of 632 branches from Lloyds Banking Group for £750 million is a staggeringly good deal for members.
The sandal-wearers amongst you will be happy that Co-operative banking can now be accessed through another 632 banks.
But that would be to miss out yet another example of the hard-won success of a hard-nosed generation of co-operators who are setting up successful co-ops from Co-operative Energy’s service to Lilac Leeds’ affordable housing.
Those hard-nosed co-operators will point to the following numbers on this Lloyds purchase: Lloyds shareholders valued their business very highly in 2006. The net asset value was £1.95 per share, but the shareholders were willing to value that at a multiple of 2.9 times, with the share price recorded at £5-71.5p on December 31st 2006.
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So while many will focus on the fact the Co-op has bought a business with £1.5 billion of equity, in fact, that business was valued by Lloyds shareholders at £4.4 billion. The smart people at the Co-op have just bought a business that capitalism valued £4.4 billion for just £750 million. Smoothies all round!