RBS aims to draw up buyers’ shortlist

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THE Royal Bank of Scotland has sent sales documents to prospective buyers of the branches it is being forced to sell, in the hope it can draw up a shortlist next month, according to sources.

Information was despatched this week to trade buyers Nationwide and Virgin Money, private equity player JC Flowers and another suitor, sources said yesterday.

RBS was ordered to sell 316 branches by European regulators as a condition of receiving a £45bn bailout in 2008 which left it 81 per cent Government owned.

It was forced to restart the sale process after Spain’s Santander pulled out of a deal to buy the branches last month.

RBS has received expressions of interest from Corsair Capital, which is led by former Standard Chartered chairman Mervyn Davies, and a joint venture between Blackstone and Anacap, the backers of new bank Aldermore, one of the sources said.

The same source added that the bank wanted to have a firm shortlist of possible buyers in place by the middle of December.