Ex NU Boss to be chairman with Sullivan remaining CEO

Rumours have returned that former NU boss Patrick Snowball is bidding with private equity firms Apollo Managaement and BC partners for RBS insurance (RBSI), including Churchill, Direct Line and NIG.

The Sunday Times said Apollo and BC Partners, which manage more than £20 billion between them, have hired HSBC to advise on their bid, with Deloitte conducting due diligence.

The paper predicted Mr Snowball would become chairman. Chris Sullivan would to be asked to stay on as chief executive

Initially it looked as if RBSI was to sell its insurance division to with CVC Partners and Swiss Re but the credit crunch meant talks broke down. It was then rumoured that RBS would cease the sale as the price appeared to be too low.

The business was put up for sale last year with a price tag of about £6bn, but rumours suggested the price buyers were prepared to pay could have halved. It produces pre-tax profits of nearly £1bn a year.

HSBC has been appointed as advisors to the Apollo bid, with Deloitte conducting due diligence, the Sunday Times said.

None of the subsequent stories secured official comment from Snowball or RBS.