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Santander in the driving seat as HBOS leaves Abbey race

Santander in the driving seat as HBOS leaves Abbey race

(17 September 2004 – UK) After six weeks of speculation, HBOS has scrapped plans to challenge Spain’s Banco Santander Central Hispano’s bid to purchase Abbey National. HBOS chief executive James Crosby said the decision was the "right thing" for the business and that it had been price rather than regulatory constraints that had influenced the decision.

London’s business community was reportedly stunned by the announcement.

Santander, for its part, has ramped up efforts to convince investors to back its bid. The Spanish bank is applying for listing on the London stock exchange to deter investors from shedding Santander shares they will receive if the deal is completed.

Santander, which tabled a £8.6 billion (A$22.2 billion) bid for Abbey in July, has said it will look to cut some 3000 jobs at Abbey.

Abbey is Britain’s sixth largest bank.
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