Churchill and Direct Line bidders line up
by Gill Montia
Story link: Churchill and Direct Line bidders line up
Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) auction of its insurance businesses, which include Churchill and Direct Line, is reported to have attracted seven bidders so far.
The bank’s advisers, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, have excluded private equity firms from the sale, which is expected to raise around £6 billion.
Zurich, Allianz and Generali of Italy are thought likely to be leading the bidding and some analysts are suggesting that Chinese insurer, Ping An, could be a contender.
Meanwhile, US entrepreneur Warren Buffett has denied rumours that he will seek to acquire the business via Berkshire Hathaway, and Aviva has also denied any interest.
AIG, the US insurer, is not expected to participate having posted £4 billion in losses for the fist quarter of 2008.
The sale includes 50/50 joint venture, Tesco Personal Finance, and it is likely that the supermarket chain will be interested in acquiring the RBS stake.
Wednesday of this week is the deadline for first-round bids.