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JC flowers in UK business negotiations

US equity firm is in talks to buy a stake in Kent Reliance Building Society

13 July 2010

US equity firm JC flowers is holding international business negotiations with UK company Kent Reliance Building Society.

The New York-based business is looking to acquire a 49 per cent stake in Kent Reliance for around £50 million.

The move would give Flowers the licence it requires to operate in the UK, with reports suggesting it is aiming to establish a new British bank.

Flowers, which launched an unsuccessful takeover bid for Northern Rock in 2007, could also purchase shares in other building societies as part of its expansion.

A statement from Kent confirmed the deal would allow the financial institution to maintain its mutual status.

It read: "If the new structure proceeds, it would allow for substantial new capital investment to support the business and would provide a means for the society's members to remain members of a mutual organisation."

Kent has around 180,000 customers and total assets of £2.2 billion, while it employs just 45 UK staff.

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