W&G Investments Plans to Bid for Royal Bank of Scotland Branches

W&G Investments Plc is bidding for the branches Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc has to sell by 2014 to comply with European Union rules.

The firm, backed by 13 fund managers and hedge funds, is offering 1.5 billion pounds ($2.3 billion) for the 315 branches, the Sunday Times reported today, without saying where it got the information. A London-based W&G spokeswoman confirmed the plan to bid in an e-mail, without giving further details. A spokeswoman for RBS declined to comment.

RBS has to sell the outlets after receiving 45.5 billion pounds in the biggest banking bailout in the world in 2008 and 2009. Banco Santander SA, Spain’s biggest bank, abandoned its 1.7 billion-pound planned purchase of the branches in October, citing completion delays.

W&G, led by Andy Higginson, former finance director at Tesco Plc, will raise 15 million pounds in an initial public offering this week to finance its preparation for the deal, the Sunday Times reported. It’s competing with two rival private-equity bids, according to the report.

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