Virgin Money revives plans for London market float

4th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

Richard Branson's Virgin Money bank has revived plans to list on the London stock exchange, it said on Tuesday, one month after halting the move owing to market turbulence.

The announcement comes one day after US airline Virgin America -- which is 22-percent owned by Branson -- launched plans for a New York stock market listing.

It comes also after last Friday's devastating crash involving a spaceship belonging to the Virgin Galactic project owned by Branson's Virgin Group conglomerate and Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments.

Virgin Money on Tuesday said it would float 25 percent of its stock by late November in an initial public offering (IPO) to raise up to £150 million ($240 million, 191 million euros), in line with plans that had been put on ice in October.

Branson owns almost 47 percent of the bank, whose second biggest key investor is Wall Street billionaire Wilbur Ross with a 45-percent holding.

"Access to the public capital markets has been a long-term strategic objective for Virgin Money and we are now ready to take this important step forward for our business," chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia added in a statement.

Virgin Money, which provides home loans, savings accounts and credit cards to 2.

8 million customers in Britain, bought the remains of collapsed British bank Northern Rock following the global financial crisis.

The group paid the British government an initial £820 million for the failed lender in 2011.

The proposed float will result in another £50-million windfall for the Treasury.

The Virgin America float meanwhile hopes to raise $320 million.

© 2014 AFP

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