( dpa )- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in Shanghai on Saturday confirmed that talks were taking place to secure a private sale of beleaguered mortgage lender Northern Rock, media reported.
However, speaking during his China visit, Brown said he had not yet ruled out the possibility of nationalizing the bank, according to British broadcaster BBC.
"Now we've been presented with a report that we commissioned from Goldman Sachs and it gives us a number of options for the future. It's right therefore to have the discussions with the private sector," Brown was quoted as saying by the BBC.
Brown is thought to have approved a plan by bankers Goldman Sachs to turn the billions of pounds of state loans made to Northern Rock into bonds, which would be sold.
A private company would then be invited to take over the bank at a small price.
Two consortiums, led by investment groups Virgin and Olivant , are at the forefront of attempts to buy the bank.
Brown also confirmed that Chancellor Alistair Darling was to make a statement in the lower house of parliament on Monday.