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Thumbs up for regional bank merger

Thumbs up for regional bank merger

(13 November 2007 – Australia) Adelaide Bank shareholders have given almost unanimous consent to the South Australian bank’s proposed merger with Bendigo bank. Almost 98 percent of Adelaide Bank shareholders supported the merger which will be implemented on 30 November 2007 subject to approval from the Federal Court of Australia.

Adelaide Bank managing director James McPhee said the positive shareholder vote was great news for shareholders of both banks.

Bendigo Bank managing director, Rob Hunt, for his part, said the merged group’s immediate focus would be on the successful integration of both businesses.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's said the merger would have no long term impact on either bank and maintained its long and short term ratings on both Bendigo and Adelaide.

S&P said the combined entity would benefit from a stronger business profile on the back of greater scale, business, and geographic diversity.

But it flagged the challenges the banks would face on IT integration, operational and management structure, and cultural differences.

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