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Virgin consortium strengthens Northern Rock bid - report
01.18.08, 2:15 AM ET



LONDON (Thomson Financial) - A consortium led by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group has strengthened its bid for stricken mortgage lender Northern Rock, the Financial Times reported.

The FT said the Virgin consortium has appointed former Alliance & Leicester managing director Peter McNamara to be responsible for risk management at Northern Rock if its bid succeeds, and has also lined up an as yet unnamed finance director.

The paper said Virgin may also allow existing Northern Rock shareholders to put in fresh equity if its bid proceeds.

The Virgin consortium is competing with buyout firm Olivant Advisers to take control of Northern Rock, amid mounting speculation that the government may nationalise the stricken lender in an effort to recoup an emergency 25 bln stg loan from the Bank of England.

tf.TFN-Europe_newsdesk@thomson.com

mn/slj

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