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From a Run on the Bank to the Finish Line

The troubled UK mortgage lender faced a steep decline after the bank fell victim to the sharp rise in borrowing costs between banks and needed a government bailout after hundreds of depositors lined up to withdraw their money.

  • Jan. 15 2008 -- Northern Rock holds a shareholder meeting to discuss a private sale of the UK lender or the other alternative of the bank being nationalized.
  • Jan. 14 -- Reports ahead of the EGM suggest that the bank is struggling to make a private sale. Northern Rock shares close at 82.5 pence.
  • Jan. 12 -- The British government invites Ron Sandler, former head of the Lloyd's of London insurance market, to be the stricken lender's executive chairman if it were to be nationalized.
  • Jan. 11 -- The UK bank sells a 2.2 billion pound ($4.3 billion) portfolio of mortgages to US bank JP Morgan, a first step in helping to repay loans from the Bank of England. It has borrowed about 26 billion pounds ($51 billion) from the central bank, Reuters reported.
  • Jan. 10 -- Goldman Sachs, the US investment bank advising the UK government on the future of Northern Rock, seeks to widen the range of options open to the government in its bid to rescue the mortgage lender. UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling expresses doubts of a private sale for the financial service.
  • Dec. 14 -- Reuters reports that the private equity group Olivant is still in the race for the mortgage lender.
  • Dec. 15 -- Luqman Arnold makes an offer for Northern Rock after J.C. Flowers pulls its bid.
  • Nov. 26 -- Virgin Group makes merger proposals for its bid for Northern Rock, CNBC speaks to the Virgin Money CEO regarding the proposals. The UK government gives tentative backing to the Virgin-led bid.
  • Nov. 25 -- UK's Sunday Telegraph reports US billionaire Warren Buffet "has emerged as a potential buyer of Northern Rock."
  • Nov. 20 -- US private equity firm Cerberus drops plans to bid for Northern Rock because of the continuing turmoil in the global financial markets, The Times reports.
  • Nov. 19 -- UK's Darling says it would be wrong to dismiss options, but Northern Rock says the bids it has received undervalue the company. Northern Rock owes the Bank of England 25 billion pounds ($50 billion). Northern Rock shareholders call for sale of lender to be halted, the Financial Times reports.
  • Nov. 16 -- Prospective bidders, including Richard Branson's Virgin Group, US private equity firm J.C. Flowers and investment firm Olivant Advisers, are due to submit their final proposals for Northern Rock. None of the three have provided full financial details of their offering ahead of this Friday deadline. CEO Adam Applegarth annouces his resignation.
  • Oct. 31 -- Britain's fifth-largest mortgage lender said it continues to work with a number of companies as part of its strategic review and has developed structures to allow it to seek interest from other parties.
  • Oct. 19 -- Northern Rock's chairman Matt Ridley unexpectedly resigns.
  • Oct. 16 -- The lender's chief executive and chairman testify before the Treasury Select Committee on events leading to it being bailed out by the Bank of England.
  • Oct. 15 -- Shares of the UK bank plummet after Credit Suisse says Virgin Group would double the number of shares in the lender if the bid is successful.
  • Oct. 12 -- Sir Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin, speaks to CNBC about the bid. Virgin announces proposals to buy a controlling stake in Northern Rock.
  • Oct. 10 -- Northern Rock's shares soar on news SRM Global Master Fund has built a 4 percent stake in the company.
  • Oct. 9 -- Northern Rock announces a deal with British financial authorities to extend guarantees for retail deposits that will enable it to explore a possible sale through the beginning of next year. The UK financial watchdog is questioned regarding its failure to head-off the Northern Rock crisis.
  • Oct. 8 -- Renewed reports that Citigroup and two private equity firms have expressed interest in the stricken lender.
  • Oct. 4 -- Report out that Citigroup has offered to provide potential buyers with funding for the acquisition of Northern Rock.
  • Oct. 3 -- Shares in Northern Rock soar on media reports that private equity firm J.C. Flowers has raised some $30 billion in preparation for a possible takeover. Chris Flowers, who runs the fund, reportedly wants to keep the bank as a whole instead of splitting it up, cheering investors. J.C. Flowers is reportedly conducting due diligence on Northern Rock. Rumors that another private equity firm Cerberus is also considering making an offer.
  • Oct. 1 -- Shares in Northern Rock fall sharply on concerns of a heavily discounted sale.
  • Sept. 26 -- The troubled lender's shares climb on confirmation from the company that it is in preliminary discussions with selective parties for a takeover. Bank of England Governor Mervyn King is grilled by the Treasury Select Committee regarding his handling of the Northern Rock crisis.
  • Sept. 19 -- Shares of Northern Rock fall as speculation of a cut-price takeover of 200 pence-per-share by rivals HBOS or Lloyds TSB mount.
  • Sept. 18 -- UK government pledges to guarantee all existing deposits and customer savings at Northern Rock. The news causes concerns about the nationalization of the British bank. Market watchers blame the demise of N. Rock on ratings agencies.
  • Sept. 17 -- UK Treasury Secretary Alistair Darling reassures Northern Rock investors and customers that the company's problems will be resolved after thousands of customers queued outside the bank's branches to withdraw their funds and investors sold off their stock in the group.
  • Sept. 14 -- Northern Rock appeals to the Bank of England for emergency funding. CEO Adam Applegarth says it requires a "substantial amount" from the central bank.
  • Sept. 13 -- Northern Rock is the worst performer on the FTSE-100 index after UK house prices fell for the first time in nearly two years.
  • July 25 -- Northern Rock CEO warns its full-year outlook will be affected by higher borrowing costs.
  • June 27 -- Shares of Northern Rock fall after the mortgage lender cuts its 2007 profit forecasts, blaming a rise in funding costs. Northern Rock Shares stood slightly below 1,200 pence.