Virgin Group is reported to be considering taking a majority stake in troubled mortgage lender Northern Rock.
Reports publish in the Telegraph and on the BBC’s website say Richard Branson’s Virgin Group are looking to buy a majority stake in the bank but would leave it as a publicly listed company.
Last week, reports claimed private equity group JC Flowers has raised £15bn of funding to buy Northern Rock and Cerberus, another private equity group, was also reported to be interested.
However, market analysts say any deal involving Northern Rock would be dependent on Government funding support.
The lender currently owes the Bank of England around £13bn, which would require refinancing by any potential bidder. However, current market conditions make refinancing very difficult and any buyer would hope the BoE does not withdraw its support upon completion of a deal.
Rumours suggest the bank would be rebranded as part of Virgin Money if Virgin Groups offer was successful. The Virgin Money brand started in 1995 and offers credit cards, insurance and savings.
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