NEW YORK — Toronto-Dominion Bank and a consortium of private-equity firms led by billionaire investor Wilbur L. Ross have entered bids to acquire troubled Florida thrift BankUnited Financial Corp., according to people familiar with the matter.
The suitors submitted their offers to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Tuesday morning ahead of a 12 p.m. EDT deadline, the people said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. Federal regulators could take BankUnited into receivership soon after soliciting bids for the bank that it deemed "critically undercapitalized."
The Coral Gables, Fla.-based thrift, which has 95 branches spread out around the state, shares surged 8% to 96 cents a share in late-morning trading on the Nasdaq. Taking the bank into receivership would wipe out shareholders.
The consortium of private-equity players includes Carlyle Group LLC, Blackstone Group LP and Centerbridge Partners LP. Ross has hired John Kanas, the former chief executive of North Fork Bancorp, to help run BankUnited if the deal is successful.
Canada's Toronto-Dominion Bank, which has significant operations in the U.S. through TD Bank and TD Ameritrade Holding Corp., has submitted its bid, the people said. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is also attached to TD's bid.
A spokesman for Toronto-Dominion declined to comment, and a spokesman for Goldman Sachs didn't immediately return telephone calls. The FDIC also did not immediately return telephone calls.
The bid deadline could be extended as regulators seek more buyers, according to one person familiar with the bidding. The bid deadline has been extended several times already.