Reuters – Private Equity Firms Eye Direct Line

Two private equity consortia plan to bid for Direct Line, the insurer owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, writes Reuters. Interested parties include Blackstone Group and Bain Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Apax and BC Partners.

(Reuters) – Two private equity consortia plan to bid for Direct Line, the insurer owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, in a move that would scupper one of the biggest planned listings in London, the Sunday Times reported.

Global private equity fund Blackstone Group and Bain Capital are assembling a pre-emptive bid that would derail the flotation valued by analysts at around 3 billion pounds ($4.66 billion).

Another group, comprising Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Apax and BC Partners, is putting together a rival offer. The newspaper quoted city sources as saying both groups are planning to make moves at the end of the month.

On Friday RBS added eight banks to help with the initial public offering of Direct Line, according to Reuters sources. The group has said it wanted to list the business in the fourth quarter. ($1 = 0.6432 British pounds)

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