Business briefs: RBS | Ladbrokes | Cormack

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A POTENTIAL £1 billion bid for more than 300 Royal Bank of Scotland branches was expected to have gathered pace yesterday as investors held meetings with Andrew Higginson, the man leading a takeover approach.

The 17-strong investor consortium includes the likes of F&C, Henderson and Schroders, alongside the wealthy Pears family.

RBS was ordered to cut its branch network by the European Commission and had hoped to sell the 316 sites to the UK arm of Spanish bank Santander. However, after working on a deal for about a year, Santander pulled out.

• Bookmaker Ladbrokes is to roll out a further 200 casino-style games for its online and mobile customers after striking a software deal.

The partnership with Playtech, which has already played a big role in the digital growth of rival William Hill, will see the launch of a “Vegas” tab on

The bookmaker said the tie-up with the gaming software firm represented the next phase in the re-invigoration of its digital business. Isle of Man-based Playtech was founded in 1999 and has more than 2,500 staff working on gaming.

• Cormack Consultancy Group has opened an office in Pakistan to bolster its overseas presence after seeing “huge potential” for UK companies in the Asian country.

The operation will add to the firm’s offices in Scotland, India, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Russia. It already has a full-time staff of 25.

Founded 12 years ago by Charles Cormack, the company specialises in advising firms on international business development. Clients range from global institutions such as Deutsche Bank to start-up businesses.