Favoured Rock bid would repay £11 billion

The preferred bid for Northern Rock, led by the Virgin group of companies, would repay £11 billion-worth ($22.7 billion) of the beleaguered mortgage lender's Bank of England debt.

Estimates put the lender's debt with the Bank at between £20 billion and £24 billion.

Sir Richard Branson, the chairman of Virgin, said that the bid would achieve its aims "without additional burden on the taxpayer."

Virgin's bid, which is backed by AIG, an insurer, Wilbur Ross, a debt investor and Toscafund and Firs

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