Interest in Park Row sale wanes as financial adviser's profits plunge

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The Independent Online

The insurer Royal Liver looks set to fail in its attempt to sell its troubled financial advisory business, Park Row, with interest in the sale waning.

According to sources close to the process, "the time to get something done has pretty much run out," leaving Park Row unsold. "There are still two parties showing some interest but I really think it's unlikely anything will be done," said a source.

The Ernst & Young accountantcy was appointed in the spring to conduct a strategic review of Park Row, with a sale the most likely option at the time.

Royal Liver bought the AIM-listed adviser in 2003 in a deal worth £16.7m. It revealed just last week that Park Row was in difficulty, posting a loss of more than £2m over the first half of the year. Park Row is currently the subject of an investigation by the Financial Services Authority over concerns regarding the firm's computer systems and controls.

Royal Liver's chief executive, Steve Burnett, also quit the group last week.