84% of HBOS shareholders vote in favour of Lloyds TSB acquisition

16 December 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
HBOS shareholders voted in favour of the Lloyds TSB merger and other capital raising schemes last week at its General Meeting in Birmingham.

The results show that 84 per cent of HBOS shareholders (holding 98 per cent of shares) voted in favour of the bank's takeover by Lloyds TSB and shareholders holding 98 per cent of the bank's shares also voted in favour of its other capital raising schemes.

Commenting on the vote results, Lloyds TSB chairman Sir Victor Blank said: "We are delighted that HBOS’s shareholders, mirroring Lloyds TSB’s shareholders, have demonstrated their support for the compelling business opportunity this acquisition presents. With both sets of shareholders behind us, we look forward to completing the transaction in mid-January 2009 to create the newly named Lloyds Banking Group."

There is no doubt that opponents to the acquisition, such as the Merger Action Group, will be disappointed with HBOS shareholders' decision to back the merger. The group of business men, employees and customers wanted HBOS to remain independent and fought against the Competition Commission's decision to make the merger legally possible.

However, the group's appeal was thrown out by a competition tribunal. Speaking ahead of the shareholders' vote, MAG spokesperson Malcolm Fraser said: "We are glad we took the stand we did, and that we were able to highlight issues in advance of any vote."

However, Scottish Government First Minister Alex Salmond blames the UK Government for the takeover of HBOS. He said: "My preference was always for HBOS to remain an independent bank, and the failure of the UK Government to live up to its commitment to offer a level playing field for alternative options effectively left the shareholders with no choice."

However, Mr Salmonds added, "What's done is done" and "now that the decision is made, I wish the new banking group well for the future."

Lloyds TSB and HBOS will now proceed with their Placing and Open Offer which invites qualifying shareholders to purchase new shares in the conjoined banking group.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd