Northern Rock plunges on discount fears

Shares in Northern Rock have fallen 24p, or 18%, to a record low of 108p in early trading after the group said that the various proposals it had received valued the existing equity “materially below the market price at the close of business on Friday, 16th November”.

Northern Rock said it had received a number of proposals broadly split into two categories, involving either an investment in the existing company or an acquisition of parts of the business or its assets.

In addition the bank and its advisors “continue to be engaged in discussions with refinanciers to explore refinancing and/or reorganisation solutions for the company.”

The bank added that “the value to shareholders” from any of the proposals, including those yet to be made, “remains highly uncertain”, depending to a great extent on the recovery of liquidity in the money markets.

An outcome is expected by February, six months after the group first sought Bank of England support.