Olivant


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Olivant

Roland’s horn, whose blast kills birds and is heard by Charlemagne, eight miles away. [Fr. Legend: Brewer Dictionary, 772]

Olivant

Roland’s ivory horn; sounded to summon Charlemagne. [Fr. Lit.: The Song of Roland]
See: Warning
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Northern Rock is believed to have borrowed more than pounds 20bn from the Bank of England but Olivant believes investing in its shares and installing Mr Luqman as boss can help it to access fresh borrowings elsewhere.
Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable said: "Isn't the risk of a rapid private sale that the Government will either be trampled by an Olivant or shafted by a Virgin?
In an update on the rescue process underway since the bank's near-collapse, Northern Rock said it remained in "accelerated" discussions with a bidding consortium led by Virgin Group and was "engaged" with parties including Olivant.
The Rock's board held a conference with Olivant chiefs yesterday after the consortium revealed its bid on Friday.
Olivant, set up and run by former Abbey National boss Luqman Arnold, says it will pay pounds 150m in cash for a 15% minority stake in the bank, leaving the rest of shareholders to benefit most from a recovery.
And Luqman Arnold, chairman of Olivant, said: "We have always said our plan seeks to find common ground between all stakeholders in Northern Rock by restoring the fortunes of the company and its brand.
There are three other potential bidders involved in the process, including Olivant and two other private equity firms, JC Flowers and Cerberus.
Treasury blessing for Olivant puts considerable pressure on the Virgin-led consortium, with Mr Arnold's proposals seen as a shareholder favourite amid increasing investor unrest over Sir Richard's plans.
Fellow Northern Rock bidder Olivant said Sir Richard should let the Government get on with its job and stop "overshadowing" the China trip.
Olivant, the group headed by Mr Arnold, the former boss of British bank Abbey, said under its proposal Northern Rock would quickly repay between pounds 10 billion and pounds 15 billion of Bank of England loans and repay the balance by the end of 2009.
Olivant, which is headed by former Abbey boss Luqman Arnold, is expected to table its offer as early as today.