‘We’re the only real bidder’ for RBS branches, says W&G Investments

 

The boss of W&G Investments, the former Tesco finance director Andrew Higginson, today claimed that his investment vehicle was the “only serious bidder” for the 315 branches that Royal Bank of Scotland has been forced to put up for sale. 

W&G plans to offer RBS £1.1 billion upfront and a further £400 million out of future profits for the branches.

“Having been a division within RBS with a ‘for sale’ sign above it for five years, inevitably it’s been slightly neglected,” said Higginson.

“The staff have done a fantastic job in holding the customers, but you know this business needs separate focus — the management vigour that a for sale sign doesn’t allow you to have.”

W&G shares were suspended immediately on joining AIM today, with plans to start trading only if and when a deal is struck with RBS. The placing on AIM raised £15 million from more than a dozen institutional investors and will be used to cover the costs of preparing the bid, including the £2,500-a-day fees for chief executive Shaun Doherty.

Higginson said: “We are the only actual bidder. The others involve an initial public offering two years down the track, whereas ours is a proper bid that will buy the business outright this year.”

But the two rival bidding consortiums, both led by private equity firms, claim their offers would ensure that RBS and its largest shareholder, the taxpayer, collect the upside on any valuation when the spun-off branches are floated in a couple of years. John Maltby, the former Lloyds executive who is heading the rival Corsair consortium, which includes the Church Commissioners, said: “The W&G approach is highly conditional, has yet to raise all the money and has not completed its due diligence. We have put our money on the table and are not trying to buy this bank on the cheap.”

His consortium is offering between £600 million and £800 million, which would become a stake of slightly less than 50% when the business floats. The third bidder — the UK private equity firm AnaCap, with backing from Blackstone — has given few details of its proposal although it also said it would help RBS “maximise value”.

It is expected that RBS will choose which offer to grant exclusivity early next month, with a deal likely to take place early in 2014. The 315 branches, which all bidders plan to run under the original Williams & Glyn’s name, have assets of £20.5 billion, and  2 million retail and 250,000 small business customers.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Admin Assistant

£12000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding Insurance Brokerag...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders