Toscafund Takes 3.75% Stake in Bidder for Sale of 318 RBS Branches

RBSToscafund has taken 3.75% stake in one of the bidders for the 318 RBS branches up for sale. The $1.3 billion hedge fund was chaired by former RBS chairman Sir George Mathewson.

It is hoped that W & G Investments will buy the branches for £1.1bn. It has disclosed this to its financial supporters through documents filed ahead of its intended listing on the Aim market this week.

W & G is led by former Tesco finance director Andy Higginson. W & G has backers, including Schroders, Threadneedle and Old Mutual. W&G Investments Plc is among three bidders that are bidding for Royal Bank of Scotland's
215 branches. It said that the sale is likely to defer beyond the two-year schedule.

An order has been passed to RBS to sell the branches in return for receiving a 45.5 billion pound bailout when it became vulnerable during 2008 financial crisis. The crisis was leaving British taxpayers owning 81% of the bank.

The sale process was dubbed as Project Rainbow. It suffered a setback in October when Santander declared not to buy the branches for 1.65 billion pounds.

W&G Investments will list on the London Stock Exchange on Monday. It said in a regulatory filing, "It is possible that separation will not be achieved within the two-year period currently contemplated by RBSG".

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