TESCO FOR TANFIELD HOUSE?

On 28 October 2009,  European Commission regulators approved the Government's emergency bail-out of Northern Rock, and gave the go-ahead for dividing it in two. A viable and potentially profitable entity will be sold off to the private sector. A 'toxic' and bad debt-ridden entity will, for now, be retained in public hands.

Virgin Money was reportedly interested in purchasing the 'good bank' at one stage, but Spurtle understands Tesco – despite denials – may also be keen. Plausible sources tell us Tesco has enquired about headquartering all or part of the new organisation in Tanfield House, Canonmills.

Any such move, however, would require sole tenancy of the whole property, and internal changes to restore the building to something like its former unitary layout. These requirements may not suit the present owners, especially if they can first find alternative tenants better suited to the building's recently reorganised and subdivided layout.

On 1 November, further news broke about the possible break-up of Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The BBC linked both Virgin and Tesco with possible buy-outs.

If and when we hear more, we'll let you know.