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Monday, October 01, 2007

Northern Rock

It looks like Northern Rock will be broken up, in a hastily arranged fire sale. The BBC reports that Cerberus and JC Flowers, two US investment funds, are interested in buying its home loan book.

The Treasury, now effectively in charge of Northern Rock, have given the two funds permission to engage the Northern Rock board.

This of course is bad news for the shareholders of Northern Rock who have seen their shares fall in value from over £12, to less than £1.80. As I have noted before, this story bears more than a passing resemblance to the decline of Marconi.

The UK Shareholders' Association have called on the Treasury to support the bank's shareholders, arguing that they should be protected against further losses by the government.

I would say that there is zero chance of that happening. Quite what the "take out" price for the bits and pieces of Northern Rock will be, is anyone's guess. However, Marconi was all but effectively wiped out,as it was gradually sold off.

Those that ignore the past, are destined to relive it.

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