Rothschild Investment Bank

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					                                                                                                                                    news release... news release... news release... news release...
                                                                                    24 April 2007

           Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank, Rothschild and Lanebridge
            Investment Management in new joint venture

           Mitre Capital Partners launched by former Ansbacher team
            led by Paul Cragg with financial backing of over £250 million

 A leading City property finance team led by Paul Cragg has joined forces with
 Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank, Rothschild and specialist commercial
 property fund manager Lanebridge Investment Management (Lanebridge) to
 form a new joint venture, Mitre Capital Partners (Mitre).

 Paul Cragg and his team were previously responsible for Ansbacher & Co’s
 commercial property finance business and Mitre will acquire their existing
 portfolio of commercial and residential development property loans. Paul Cragg
 becomes the new chief executive of Mitre, with Stephen Murrell, Carl Sutton and
 Joe Daniel becoming directors of the company.

 Mitre is majority owned by Alliance & Leicester which has a 51% stake in its
 voting shares, with Lanebridge holding 35.75% and Rothschild 13.25%.

 Alliance & Leicester’s will provide Mitre with a revolving credit facility amounting
 initially to £250 million, providing Mitre with additional financial resources. This
 will enable Mitre to grow its business, providing finance to experienced property
 developers for small to medium-sized commercial and residential developments,
 principally in the UK but also in certain Continental European markets, including
 France, Spain and Poland, where the management team has existing
 experience and there is existing portfolio exposure.

Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank, a trading division of Alliance & Leicester plc.
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered Office: Carlton Park, Narborough, Leicester LE19 0AL.
Company No: 3263713. Registered in England.
Alliance & Leicester Commercial Finance plc. Registered Office: Carlton Park, Narborough, Leicester LE19 0AL.
Company No. 1533123. Registered in England. A subsidiary of Alliance & Leicester plc. A member of the Alliance & Leicester Group.

Paul Cragg, Chief Executive of Mitre, says: “This is exciting news for the
property development market and for us personally.             The backing of three
prestigious new investors, both as shareholders in our new joint venture
company and as providers of funding in the case of Alliance & Leicester, gives
us huge potential to grow our business.

“There is strong demand for the innovative, flexible financing solutions that we
can offer for a wide range of projects, both commercial and residential, in the UK
and in selected Continental European markets.           We have acknowledged
expertise in delivering tailored solutions to professional developers who are
looking for bespoke finance, particularly for schemes that are not pre-let or pre-
sold, and who may struggle to raise more than 50% funding through traditional
channels. Uniquely we operate on a genuinely non-recourse basis and can
provide finance for up to 85% loan-to-cost.

“This deal will be warmly welcomed by our many friends and business partners
who will recognise that we now have the financial clout to make a much bigger
mark on the industry. I am confident Mitre will become a new powerhouse in
property finance.”

Bryce Glover, Director of Corporate Banking at Alliance & Leicester,
comments, “This is an excellent way of extending Alliance & Leicester
Commercial Bank’s involvement in property finance, working with specialist
partners Rothschild and Lanebridge Investment Management. Paul Cragg and
his team have an outstanding reputation in the market. With our backing and
significantly greater financial resources we believe they can be even more
successful in the future. We hope to use this joint venture model to pursue
further opportunities in the property sector in due course.”

                                     - ENDS -

For further information, please contact

Andy Homer
Alliance & Leicester Press Office                                  0116 200 3401
Mobile                                                             07798 580833

Brian Thorn or Mark Baker
The Wriglesworth Consultancy                                       020 7845 7900
Mobile                                                             07712 188812

Note to Editors:

Paul Cragg, Chief Executive of Mitre     Bryce Glover, Director of Corporate
                                         Banking at Alliance & Leicester
                                         Commercial Bank

               Photographs are available from the Press Office or at
              (type Paul Cragg / Bryce Glover in the keyword box)

About Mitre Capital Partners

Mitre is 100% owned by a holding company, itself 51% owned by Alliance &
Leicester, 13.25% by Rothschild and 35.75% by Lanebridge Investment

As at 31 December 2006, the commercial property finance business of
Ansbacher & Co had gross assets of £129m.

Mitre’s existing portfolio acquired from Ansbacher & Co is split as follows: 44%
commercial; 27% residential; 3% investment; 5% land; 21% Continental Europe.
The UK portfolio is broadly distributed around the country.

Biographical information and photography on the directors of Mitre are available
on request.
About Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank

Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank provides a wide range of banking
services for businesses of all sizes. It is a specialist provider of leasing, hire
purchase and other finance products to sectors such as public bodies, bus and
coach operators, the haulage industry and large fleet operators. In addition the
bank also offers finance solutions to organisations in the aviation, shipping and
the renewable energy sectors. It has a team of investment and development
property finance specialists based in Manchester and London.

At the end of December 2006 Alliance & Leicester’s commercial lending
balances were £6.5bn, with some 12% representing property finance.

About Rothschild

Rothschild is an international investment bank with significant experience in the
property sector, through the provision of senior debt, mezzanine and equity
finance and its role as an independent specialist securitisation adviser. Projects
which it has recently financed include:

      A £200m CMBS for Alburn Real Estate Capital, an Irish Property
       Company with substantial real estate investments in the UK and Ireland;

      A £460m bridge financing and CMBS take-out for Plantation Place
       Limited, an investment vehicle comprising Insight Foundation Property
       Trust and Tishman International.

About Lanebridge Investment Management

Lanebridge Investment Management led by Stan Annison has considerable
experience in property development and funding and believes that it can
complement the expertise offered by Alliance & Leicester and Rothschild &
Sons for the benefit of Mitre Capital Partners.

Over the past four years the Lanebridge team has successfully sourced and
syndicated the purchase and disposal of over £300m of commercial property.
Unlike many Property Funds that exist in the marketplace Lanebridge
Investment Management Directors co-invest in the syndicates. Total returns
since the inception of the Fund have averaged in excess of 50% per annum.

Stan Annison (Managing Director of Lanebridge Investment Management)
says: “This new business allows our investors immediate access to the
development funding market on a larger scale than previously achieved by way
of syndications of standalone properties. This should hopefully mitigate the
perceived risks of funding individual developments”.

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