Shinsei Bank, formerly the Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, recently offered to buy failed consumer credit company Life Co., even though the bank refused to bail it out, Life sources said Thursday.
Shinsei Bank joins some 10 domestic and foreign companies that have expressed interest in taking over Life, which filed in May for court-led corporate rehabilitation due to massive nonperforming assets, the sources said.
Life failed after the LTCB, in dire straits of its own, refused to bail it out.
The LTCB collapsed and was subsequently put under state control in 1998 due to huge loan losses. It was sold in March to an international consortium led by Ripplewood Holdings LLC., along with its problem loans and deposit liabilities, and was relaunched June 5 as Shinsei Bank.
Among the companies bidding to take over Life is major U.S. nonbank financial institution GE Capital Services Corp., which broke off negotiations on a capital tieup just before it went under.
The candidates seem to view the rehabilitation of Life’s credit card business as feasible, based on expectations its debts will be slashed in the court proceedings.
The company has a network of 700,000 member stores and 5.8 million card subscriptions.