Virgin Money to buy Northern Rock

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Money is to buy nationalised lender Northern Rock in a �747 million deal, the Treasury announced today.

The takeover of the Newcastle-based bank, which was taken into public ownership in February 2008, is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The Government will receive an initial �747 million with the potential to secure �1 billion in total - less than the estimated �1.4 billion it has injected into the bank during its period of public ownership.

Virgin Money failed in a bid to buy the bank following its collapse in 2007.