Ousted former CEO Renaud Laplanche of fraught marketplace lending platform Lending Club is looking for backing to take the firm private in a potenital buyout alongside other investors, according to a report from the Reuters news agency.
The French-born entrepreneur is one of the most well-known figures in the nascent alternative finance industry and was at the helm of the company when it public listed back in December 2014. This valued the company at over $9bn however thanks to a plummet in its share price. The company today has a market cap of just $1.7bn.
Performance of share price since IPO
Reuters, or more specifically the Thomson family who own Reuters, was an early investor in Lending Club via its venture capital arm Thomvest Ventures. However, there is no suggestion it was this outfit that Renaud is said to have been in talks with.
Laplanche departed ways with Lending Club on 9 May due to the news of an internal inquiry found irregularities in the sale of a tranche of loans and an alleged conflict of interest due to his undisclosed holdings in a fund doing business with Lending Club.