Paul Hastings Represents Portman Capital in Relation to Potential RBS and Lloyds Share Distribution to UK Taxpayers
London, UK – Paul Hastings LLP, a leading global law firm, is representing Portman Capital Partners in relation to a proposed distribution of RBS and Lloyds shares to qualifying UK taxpayers in a scheme that has recently been endorsed by the Policy Exchange. Portman Capital Partners originated the proposal, whereby a large portion of RBS and Lloyds shares currently owned by the UK government would be distributed to qualifying UK taxpayers.
Under the proposal, payment for the shares would be due from a taxpayer recipient at the time it sells the shares. Recipients who sell their shares beneath the price the government paid for the shares at the time of their intervention in 2008 (the “floor price”) would be liable to repay the difference to the government, and those that sell above the floor price would keep any gain. The distribution would be made alongside a sizeable institutional and retail offering. Through offering a large portion of its shareholding to qualifying taxpayers in this way, Portman Capital believe the government could transfer a significant amount of its stake in RBS and Lloyds into private ownership in one go, and give taxpayers the bulk of any upside in their price. At the same time, the conditions for a successful institutional and retail offering of RBS and Lloyds shares, that would take place alongside the distribution, would be optimized by several factors including the immediate removal of the government’s overhang and creation of significant demand from index driven investors, leading to a well-supported share price.
The proposal is a novel solution to the privatization of these government stakes, which have posed significant political challenges to the government, and the banks themselves throughout their period of partial state ownership.