Reports suggest CVC bid rejected

The imminent sale of the UK’s third largest insurer RBSI was looking increasingly unlikely this week, with reports that a bid from the frontrunner had been rejected.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was understood to have been in negotiations with private equity house, CVC Capital Partners. CVC is believed to have entered a bid which RBS thought was too low. It is not known how much the bid was.

RBS, which is now part-owned by the government, has repeatedly said that its insurance business, which includes household names Direct Line and Churchill, is for sale – but only if the price is right. It is not making any announcement until its annual general meeting in February.

The bank is believed to still be in talks with another private equity house, BC Partners. A string of potential trade buyers, including Zurich, Allianz and Allstate, ruled themselves out of the race last year.