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Virgin Money CEO says eyeing UK banking assets

Source: Reuters - Thu 25th Feb 2010

Virgin Money is "still interested, still looking" to buy up banking assets in Britain,chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia said on Thursday.

The group is looking to IPO in about five years time, Gadhia said at a conference.

The consumer credit arm of Richard Branson's Virgin is frequently named as a potential suitor for a slice of the billions of pounds in British banking assets, set to be sold over the coming months and years, including making another approach for failed mortgage lender Northern Rock.

"Any acquisition we might make, we will test against our organic growth plan. We have a five-year plan to get to a significant number of branches and we would hope to IPO at that time" said Gadhia.

Virgin Money entered Britain's retail banking market earlier this year after agreeing to buy a small provincial bank, Church House Trust, in a 50 million pounds ($77 million) deal.

It had applied for a banking licence in October.

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