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Report: Co-op Bank eyeing debt-for-equity swap within 2 weeks

Co-operative Bank Plc aims to launch a debt-for-equity swap offer within two weeks, in a bid to complete the operation before £400 million of senior bonds mature in September, "two bankers briefed on the process" told the Financial Times.

The troubled British lender intends to raise approximately £450 million from the swap, though it will still need to raise £300 million in new equity, the FT said May 29, adding that failure to do the latter could lead to the bank being wound down.

"Bankers close to the plans" told the paper that Cyrus Capital Partners, GoldenTree Asset Management, Silver Point Capital and Blue Mountain, which all hold Tier 2 bonds in Co-op Bank, were the most likely to inject more capital into the lender.

Co-op Bank has been looking for a buyer since February, when it put itself up for sale after facing difficulties in generating capital.

Virgin Money Holdings (UK) Plc had reportedly dropped plans to acquire Co-op Bank, increasing the possibility that the lender will instead pursue a financial restructuring deal with its hedge fund investors.