Business news in brief: RBS | ScottishPower | JJB | 3i

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ROYAL Bank of Scotland has appointed UBS to look into ways of selling 316 branches following the collapse of talks with Santander UK last month.

The bank must sell the business by the end of 2013 as a condition of receiving state aid, and is reportedly considering a flotation or management buyout.

Analysts believe it will get less than half the £1.65 billion discussed with Santander.

More bidders for ScottishPower stake

TWO more pension funds have joined the bidding for a stake in ScottishPower’s electricity grid business, which could fetch more than £1 billion.

The Universities Superannuation Scheme and the BT pension fund have reportedly teamed up for a bid, with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and two Canadian funds also interested.

Collapsed JJB left £210m in debts

JJB Sports left debts of £210 million when it collapsed into administration last month.

The group reportedly owed £45m to banks, including Lloyds Banking Group, part of which will be repaid.

However, unsecured creditors, including sportswear firms Adidas, Nike and Umbro and the firm’s landlords, are unlikely to get anything.

Troubled 3i set to launch new fund

TROUBLED venture capital group 3i is set to launch a $500 million (£315m) fund in Brazil next year despite closing offices in the UK.

The company, which reports its half-year numbers this week, opened an office in Sao Paulo last year and made its first investment, taking a $55m stake in a cable TV group.

Chief executive Simon Borrows now plans to close six of its 19 offices.