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August 6, 2010    

RBS ready to sell WorldPay

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by Kay Murchie
RBS ready to sell WorldPay

As part of its restructuring plan, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is preparing to sell its payment processing company, WorldPay, just days after it announced the sale of its Williams & Glyn’s branch network.

Private equity firms, Advent International and Bain Capital, have been in talks to buy WorldPay since last month, according to sources.

The deal, which could bring RBS £2.5 billion, comes as the bank has to sell assets under the orders of the European Commission as a punishment of the billions of pounds in state aid that RBS received by the Government at the height of the financial crisis.

The bank has embarked on a major disposal programme over recent months and earlier this week, it confirmed it had sold the 318 Williams & Glyn’s network of branches to Spanish banking giant, Santander for £1.65 billion.

Meanwhile, earlier today, RBS, which is 83% owned by the taxpayer, announced a profit for the six months ended June, boosted by falling charges for bad debt.

The bank posted a net profit of £9 million ($14.3 million) compared with a £1.04 billion net loss in the same period a year earlier.

Meanwhile, it added it was on target to meet its UK mortgage and business lending targets.

Today’s results are a significant improvement on the £24.1 billion loss it reported for 2008 – which represented the largest annual loss in UK corporate history.

Chief executive Stephen Hester said the bank was “making good progress with disposals and overall business restructuring”.

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