Virgin Money postpones London stock market listing

By Reuters

Oct 20, 2014 04:14 AM EDT

UK lender Virgin Money has postponed its London stock market listing, the company said on Friday, delaying plans to raise around 150 million pounds ($241.5 million) in a float that could have valued the firm at 1.5-2 billion pounds ($2.4-3.2 billion).

"Virgin Money continues to progress its plan for an initial public offering, mindful of market conditions. It now expects admission to occur later than October 2014 and as soon as constructive market conditions allow," it said in a statement.

The company announced its intention to float on Oct. 2. Since then, the FTSEuroFirst 300 has lost almost 8 percent as investors flee from stocks amid concerns over global growth prospects after a string of weak data.

Billionaire founder Richard Branson and the UK government were both expected to receive windfalls from the Newcastle-based firm's listing. The UK Treasury was due to be paid 50 million pounds under the terms of its purchase of nationalised lender Northern Rock in 2011.

Virgin Financial Investments owns 46.5 percent of Virgin Money, and WL Ross, the U.S.-based investment vehicle of U.S. billionaire Wilbur Ross, owns 44.9 percent.

It has 2.8 million customers and 75 branches, and made an underlying pretax profit of 59.7 million pounds in the first six months of this year. That was up from 53.4 million for all of 2013, its first profit since the Northern Rock deal.

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