The Santander / Abbey Deal: Background

:: The Santander / Abbey Deal ::
- History of the merger -

History of the merger

On Monday July 26, 2004 the Boards of Spanish Banco Santander and British Abbey National Bank reached agreement over the terms of the acquisition and publicly announced Santander’s friendly all share offer for Abbey, which amounted to EUR15.6bn. Throughout the months of September, October and November the deal received regulatory approval from the European Commission, UK’s Financial Services Authority, Spanish CNMV and the Bank of Spain, as well as certain other regulatory bodies. The Extraordinary Shareholders' Meeting of Abbey approved Grupo Santander's friendly bid on October 14, 2004. Santander’s shareholders approved the capital increase needed to carry out the deal on October 21, 2004. The merger with Abbey, the UK’s six largest bank, made Santander one of the world’s ten largest banks by market capitalization.

The deal was closed on November 12, 2004 when Abbey National became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Grupo Santander. Lord Burns and Mr. Francisco Gómez Roldán were nominated respectively Chairman and CEO of Abbey.

Commenting on the acquisition, Santander’s and Abbey’s Chairman said:

“The acquisition of Abbey places us among the 10 leading banks in the world by market capitalization. We are increasing not just our size but also our diversification in terms of both countries and currencies. We have achieved an excellent position as the largest bank in Spain and the Eurozone and the leading financial group in Latin America. We are now in the premier league of international banking. This acquisition is proof of the strength of our share, the currency of exchange for the largest cross-border acquisition in European banking to date. The purchase of Abbey will create value for Grupo Santander shareholders and at the same time benefit our customers and employees.” Santander’s Chairman, Emilio Botín

“This is a momentous day in Abbey's 155-year history. Abbey has always changed with the times, and has a track record of breaking new ground. Santander will build on this heritage, and provide the support and know-how to accelerate our plans and ambitions in the UK. Under Santander's ownership, Abbey will emerge as a stronger, more competitive force on the high street. The combination of the two banks will deliver substantial benefits for shareholders, customers and employees.” Abbey’s Chairman, Lord Burns

“Stock Exchange Announcements. Recommended Acquisition of Abbey National plc (“Abbey”) by Banco Santander Central Hispano, S.A.” -

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