San Francisco’s First Republic Bank is off the market. According to a report by Fox Business, the bank decided to hit a pause on efforts to be sold until its balance sheet is improved.
There are several reasons why First Republic Bank is no longer looking for a buyer. The main one is that potential buyers are scared off by the massive hole in its balance sheet that amounts to $12 billion. The suitors would want “reassurance of a government backstop” for these losses that they have to write down, something that doesn’t seem likely at the moment.
First Republic Bank executives have now decided to continue business as usual while attempting to improve the bank’s health and make it a more desirable asset in the future. In case this happens, another sale attempt will likely follow. The option of remaining independent is also on the table.
After Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank collapsed in early March, many believed First Republic Bank could follow the same path. However, this scenario was avoided thanks to funding injection by the Federal Reserve and JPMorgan Chase & Co. This allowed the company to get access to $70 billion in unused liquidity that allowed it to continue its operation.