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Monday, February 04, 2008

D Day for Northern Wreck

Today, 16:00 to be precise, marks the deadline imposed by the government for bids to be placed for the beleaguered Northern Rock.

It seems that, despite being very pally with the Prime Minister, Richard Branson's Virgin is losing ground in the race to carve up the corpse of the once proud bank.

Virgin's known rivals are Paul Thompson, the former chief executive of insurer Resolution, who is leading a proposal to keep much of Northern Rock's management in place and ex-Abbey boss Luqman Arnold.

Although the deadline for bids is 16:00 today, the Tripartite Authorities, advised by Goldman Sachs, may take until the end of the month to pick a bidder.

The Government has told shareholders that they will not be allowed to determine the decision, but it is likely Goldman and the Treasury will take their views into account.

Failure to complete on a satisfactory deal will mean the nationalisation of Northern Rock.

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