Bidding deadline passes but Northern Rock's fate still unclear

The deadline for bids to buy the whole or parts of UK lender Northern Rock passed in November but its future became little clearer.

Two key shareholders pressed for a halt to the sale of the bank and have swung behind a proposal to install new management and restructure the business. Meanwhile, the UK government displayed a lack of enthusiasm for the Bank of England to continue to support Northern Rock.

At the time of going to press, the lender was understood to have received around eight bids for

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