Potential buyers for the ailing Northern Rock bank must submit their rescue proposals by the end of today.
Three groups are expected to submit offers today including two private equity firms, Cerberus and JC Flowers, and Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.
There are three likely options for any potential bidders, either to buy the company as a whole, to sell its basic infrastructure or to sell its infrastructure and its mortgage book.
However, the large amount of money the bank has borrowed from the Bank of England, estimated to be around £24bn, will mean offers are likely to be low.
Some analysts have suggested the bank could become nationalised by the Government, with its assets sold off to recover the money lent by the Bank of England.
Another group called Olivant, an investment group led by former Abbey boss Lugman Arnold, have proposed taking a minority stake in the lender.
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Two global vehicles
'Further plug advice gap'
Must appoint separate CEOs and boards
Advisers do come out well
Will report to Mark Till