Abbey's merger talks with Banco Santander of Spain tops the business pages today following meetings in London and Madrid yesterday and City expectations that details of a bid will be released later today.
The FT says the UK bank has agreed a cash and shares offer, details of which will be published through regulatory news channels later today.
An offer of about 580p per share is understood to have been made, with cash representing about 5% of the bid value. The merger will create the world’s eighth biggest bank, the paper adds.
The Daily Telegraph says the takeover will be the biggest in the UK banking sector since HSBC took over Midland in 1992 “and the first by a European lender”.
The paper gives a range of 560p to 580p as the value of the offer by BS. The trick will be to get the roughly 1.7 million smaller shareholders, who own about a third of the UK bank, to vote for the takeover.
Certain Abbey employees could also expect a turbulent time: the Telegraph suggests BS will look for some 500m euros in savings by replacing Abbey’s “outdated systems with its European technology platform.”, although there is no word on what that might mean for Abbey’s wrap platform offering for intermediaries.
The Times suggests Lloyds TSB or Citigroup may ride in to spoil the party, however, The Scotsman carries comment firmly denying any potential bid by either Lloyds or HBOS.
Lloyds’ hostile bid for Abbey in 2001 was blocked by competition authorities, and analysts believe none of the other big UK banks are willing to cross that line again.
COMPANIES AND DIRECTORS could be hit by penalties if they fail to notify the Inland Revenue in time about company share dealing transactions involving directors and staff, says The Scotsman.
”Companies will have to disclose to the Revenue details of company shares and unapproved share options issued to directors and employees if this is by reason of a former, current or prospective employment. This is a very wide definition and capable of broad interpretation so it may catch out many companies,” the paper writes.
”Newly incorporated businesses may be particularly affected as they may be unaware of the new requirements.”
Husband and wife teams running small business as directors could be liable for up to £600 for each “reportable event” for failure to notify of relevant share deals, with an additional £60 charge daily for continued failure to notify.IFAonline
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