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Government sells last Northern Rock shares for £5bn, in post financial crash milestone

UK Asset Resolution (UKAR) has agreed to sell its last few shares in Bradford and Bingley (B&B) and Northern Rock Asset Management (NRAM), in a deal that will include the remaining mortgage and loan portfolios. 

The shares are being sold to a consortium comprising Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP and Citibank. The majority of the financing for the transaction is being provided by funds managed by Pacific Investment Management Company LLC (PIMCO).

 

This sale brings to a close the government’s ownership of B&B and NRAM, including the loans, with the taxpayer fully repaid, and the legal and regulatory responsibility for the operating companies returned to the private sector.

 

According to UKAR, the transaction will complete in two stages. The first stage is the sale of the loans to Citi which is expected to complete within the next few weeks. The second stage is completion of the sale of the companies to Davidson Kempner, which is subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and is expected to take place in the summer. At this point Davidson Kempner will take ownership of B&B and NRAM. Computershare will continue to service the loans.

 

Total proceeds of the sale for the government will be around £5bn.

 

This transaction does not involve any customers moving to a new lender. UKAR explained that there will be no changes to the terms and conditions of any loans as a result of this transaction. Customers will continue to receive the same protections for the lifetime of their mortgage and their ability to re-mortgage will be unaffected.

 

Ian Hares, chief executive of UKAR, said: “This transaction marks the end of the government’s ownership of these companies and is a significant step towards the completion of that objective and I would like to thank all those who have been involved over the 10 years since we were formed.”

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