On a cold, clear January morning, Sir Richard Branson finds himself standing in the middle of a pedestrian-friendly street in Newcastle -- a hardscrabble city in northeast England -- becoming something he never thought he would be: a banker.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc is starting to whittle down bidders for the 316 branches regulators are forcing it to sell as some of the U.K.’s biggest fund managers face off against offers from U.S. private equity firms, people with knowledge of the discussions said.
U.S. private-equity investors Wilbur Ross and J. Christopher Flowers, who’ve made billions of dollars turning around industries from steel mills to Japanese banks, are lining up to finance British homebuyers as the country’s biggest banks pull back.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc is telling bidders for the 316 branches it’s selling they will be able to buy a bond convertible into shares of the division after an initial public offering, according to four people with knowledge of the talks.
Richard Branson’s Virgin Money Holdings (U.K.) Ltd. approached Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc to buy 316 branches and U.S. investor JC Flowers & Co. is considering a bid, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.
Billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Money Holdings U.K. Ltd. is to buy Northern Rock Plc for 747 million pounds ($1.2 billion), marking the first sale of a British government bank holding since the 2008 financial crisis.