Rumuors persist of a management buyout

Barclays Private Equity has no plans to sell its stake in A-Plan, despite speculation of a management buyout and the sale of one of its biggest assets.

Last month, the company sold cleaning company Deb for £325m to rivals Charterhouse, which also owns a stake in Giles.

Barclays has also been at the centre of widespread speculation that it is looking to push through a management buyout of its private equity arm.

The bank faces restrictions on its private equity activities if the UK follows the US example of clamping down on hedge funds, private equity and proprietary trading.

A source said Barclays Private Equity had no plans to sell the 62% stake in A-Plan that it bought in May 2008, a deal thought to be worth about £150m. The rest of the company is owned by management.

Chief executive Carl Shuker said that Barclays Private Equity was “without question” behind A-Plan.

“We are not aware of anything beyond what private equity does, which is buying and selling,” he said.