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Virgin completes buyout of Northern Rock

Calls for auditor investigation of deal ignored

Gulf News

London: Virgin Money completed its acquisition of bailed out British lender Northern Rock Friday, despite calls for the sale to be delayed while the national auditor investigates whether the deal is good value for money.

The British government agreed in November to sell Northern Rock to Virgin Money — the banking arm of billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Group — for between £747 million (Dh4.2 billion) and £1 billion.

The deal does not recoup all of the £1.4 billion spent by the authorities to keep the bank afloat during the credit crisis. The opposition Labour Party wanted the deal to be put on hold while the National Audit Office investigates the sale.