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April 10, 2010

Wellcome Trust linked to RBS branch sale

by Gill Montia

Story link: Wellcome Trust linked to RBS branch sale

Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) auction of 318 branches has taken a surprise turn with the emergence of Wellcome Trust as a potential bidder.

The global medical charity is understood to have joined forces with US private equity firm, Blackstone, to prepare a bid.

Wellcome describes itself as “dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health” by supporting “the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities”.

The acquisition of RBS’s Williams & Glynns brand and a branch network may seem an unlikely move, but the charity already has a sophisticated investment portfolio.

Virgin Money is also reported to be preparing a bid for the branches, as it pursues plans to spring-board into the UK retail banking sector.

National Australia Bank and Santander have been named as potential bidders, as has Spanish banking group, BBVA.

The majority state-owned RBS is undertaking the sale to comply with EU competition rules.

 

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