RBS set to sell Priory Group for up to £1bn

THE Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) could finally be on the verge of selling care homes operator the Priory Group, famous for providing refuge to pop stars like Pete Doherty and Robbie Williams.

RBS is poised to close a deal with private equity firm Advent International within the next few weeks.

Advent was one of several firms interested in purchasing the Priory Group in September.

Bain Capital, a US private equity firm originally led the way, yet negotiations dragged through November as disagreements over the asking price couldn’t be settled.

RBS is said to have reopened the auction to earlier bidders such as Advent and Blackstone, before Bain’s bid officially collapsed last month.

RBS, which acquired the group in 2007 when it bought ABN AMRO, still hopes to raise about £1bn from the sale, as it looks to shed its non-core assets.

However, the asking price could yet again prove to be a stumbling block.

RBS, along with Deutsche Bank, is also thought to be a leading candidate to finance the deal.

Yesterday RBS and Deutsche Bank declined to comment.