April 6, 2017 / 6:25 AM / 5 months ago

Co-operative Group writes off stake in struggling bank

LONDON, April 6 (Reuters) - Britain's Co-operative Group , the mutually-owned supermarkets to funeral services group, on Thursday wrote off the value of its stake in the struggling Co-operative Bank.

Reporting its financial results for 2016, Co-operative Group said uncertainty about the value of the bank during its sale process made it prudent to value the group's stake in the lender at nil.

It is the third consecutive reporting period in which the group has written down the value of its 20 percent stake, which it last valued at 140 million pounds in September.

The write-off meant the group recorded a pretax statutory loss for 2016. Its operating profit rose by 32 percent, on growth in its core businesses of supermarkets, funeralcare, and insurance.

The Co-op Bank's current sales process has drawn interest from multiple bidders after the ailing British lender put itself up for sale in February.

Sources close to the process told Reuters that most bidders were interested in specific assets only as they saw little value in buying the whole group.

Co-op Bank nearly collapsed in 2013 with a 1.5 billion pound hole in its capital after losses from problem real estate loans. Bondholders ultimately took control of the bank. (Reporting By Lawrence White; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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