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Llodys shareholders back HBOS takeover

1 Dec 08

Shareholders at Lloyds TSB have spoken, with an overwhelming 96 per cent voting in favour of its takeover of HBOS

That leaves the rescue merger looking like a done deal with HBOS shareholders meeting in Birmingham on 12 December, when only 75 per cent of the vote will be needed to secure the takeover.

After the Lloyds meeting in Glasgow, chairman Sir Victor Blank said: “Todays successful vote marks another important milestone in the proposed acquisition of HBOS to create the UK's leading financial services company. I am delighted that our shareholders have endorsed the compelling strategic logic for this transaction.”

The government has allowed the takeover of HBOS by Lloyds to bypass normal competition rules. When the deal was announced in September, ministers backed the acquisition using a special national interest clause on the grounds that the collapse of HBOS would have had a disastrous impact on the UK economy.

Sir Peter Burt, formerly of the Bank of Scotland, and Sir George Mathewson, ex-head of the Royal Bank of Scotland had said HBOS could remain independent if it were to take the government's bail-out money without merging with Lloyds TSB.

But they have failed to generate shareholder support. One of HBOS’s largest investors said: “They have no credibility, no support.

It’s ludicrous. We are not taking the approach remotely seriously.”

There had been speculation that the Bank of China was looking at HBOS as Scottish financier Jim Spowart stepped up his efforts to find an alternative to the Lloyds TSB deal. Analysts were sceptical that BoC would step in.

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Lloyds TSB | HBOS | takeover

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