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Bendigo decision "some months" away

Bendigo decision “some months” away

(21 March 2007 – Australia) The Bendigo Bank board has told shareholders it will take "some months" before it is in a position to put Bank of Queensland’s merger proposal to shareholders. The bank also admitted it had held "informal discussions" with Bank of Queensland and other parties over recent years on "the potential for industry consolidation and diversification".

In a letter to shareholders from Bendigo chairman Robert Johanson, the bank said it needed to "obtain more detail about its [BOQ’s] proposal and to evaluate whether it is in the best interests of our shareholders".

"In evaluating the Bank of Queensland proposal, your board is mindful of the significant value and potential that has been created by our current strategy," Bendigo said.

Bendigo emphasised its growth to date, saying it had representation in more than 350 communities nationally and some 1.1 million customers.

"The benefits of this investment and expansion are progressively being realised and the extraction of further value from this strategy is expected to result in sustainable earnings growth going forward."

The bank said the views of its shareholders, staff, customers, alliance partners, communities and other stakeholders would be taken into account whilst considering the proposal.

"We believe these stakeholders have a direct impact on the future value of the business under any ownership scenario," Bendigo said.

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