Which ‘Sun Capital’ is bidding for Lloyds branches?

August 22, 2011, 10:21 PM UTC

Sun Capital Partners wants to lead a $4 billion deal for UK bank branches. But not that Sun Capital Partners.

This morning came reports that Sun Capital Partners is among several firms to reach the second round of bidding for 630 Lloyds Banking Group branches, which could be valued at more than $4 billion.

But something about the news just didn’t sit right. Florida-based Sun is known for focusing on lower mid-market turnaround transactions, not multi-billion dollar finance buyouts. It does have a $5 billion fund to work with, but this seemed way out of character. After all, this is the firm that got flack for sponsoring a half-billion buyout of fashion company Kellwood.

So I called up somebody at Sun, who tells me that they are not the Sun I’m looking for. It seems that there is a British firm, run by entrepreneur Hugh Osmond, that also goes by the name Sun Capital Partners. Pretty confusing, particularly given that the stateside Sun also does European deals and has a London office.

So there we go: It’s Osmond’s “Sun Capital Partners” that is bidding on the Lloyds branches. Not the better known Floridian version that launched several years earlier. Got to wonder if the two firms have had a chat or two about branding…