Virgin Money is reportedly eyeing a potential stock market flotation after leading shareholder and American investor Wilbur Ross acquired a 38 per cent stake in acquisition vehicle NBNK.
Sources told the Financial Times that Ross’ £8m stake in NBNK could be used to list Virgin Money by reversing it into the shell vehicle.
The FT says Virgin could finance its bid to buy the 316 Royal Bank of Scotland branches for sale through a second offering if its is successful.
NBNK was set up in August 2010 by former Treasury select committee chairman John MacFall and former Lloyd’s of London chairman Lord Levene as an acquisition vehicle but, as yet, it has failed to secure any deals, most notably the 632 branches Lloyds Banking Group were forced to sell, which went to the Co-operative Bank.
In June, it was reported that NBNK were due to close after admitting it had no banking businesses to buy, but yesterday Ross bought 1.3 million shares in the vehicle.