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Abbey shareholders say "Si" to Spanish takeover

Abbey shareholders say “Si” to Spanish takeover

(19 October 2004 – UK) After months of speculation, shareholders at British bank Abbey have approved the ₤8.9 billion sale to Spain’s Santander Central Hispano. Over the past few months, most of the major banks had been tipped to launch a counter bid for Abbey, the sixth largest bank in the UK, including most recently HBOS, which stunned the market by dropping out of the race last month.

Votes were cast at a fractious and lively meeting but pre-audit, indicative results revealed the sale would be passed with some 65 percent of shareholders voting for the deal.

The deal could be completed by November with Abbey shareholders receiving one Santander share for each Abbey share they own. Santander said it would allow UK based Abbey investors who held 2000 shares or less to use its free share dealing facility without requiring completion of a Spanish tax form.

Abbey has almost 1.7 million small shareholders, many of whom received shares following the bank’s conversion from a building society in 1989.
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