NatWest this week recruited the Maitland Consultancy to work
alongside Bell Pottinger Financial to fend off the Bank of Scotland’s
hostile takeover bid.
Bank of Scotland’s (BoS) pounds 22 billion bid for its larger competitor
was rejected by NatWest, but was followed by counterbids from Royal Bank
of Scotland and Abbey National.
The audacious BoS bid has sparked what is likely to be this year’s
biggest hostile take-over, and advisers are predicting ’a long battle
Bank of Scotland’s incumbent agency, Brunswick, is acting for it on the
bid for NatWest. Royal Bank of Scotland will maintain its five-year
relationship with Financial Dynamics. Abbey National has not appointed
Abbey National’s corporate affairs director, Nick Chaloner, is still
describing the reports of his company’s bid ’as pure speculation’.
Any counterbidders are unlikely to rush in until the full details of the
BoS offer to NatWest’s institutional shareholders are revealed.
John Sunnucks, partner at Brunswick, said: ’The offer has improved the
value of the financial services sector. It is a brave move and is all
about BoS management being better placed to run NatWest than the current
Both BoS and NatWest shares have risen since the bid. analysts claims
that a combined group could result in cost savings of between 10 and 15
per cent, at the cost of 15,000 to 30,000 job losses.
The prospect of a foreign counter bid looks highly unlikely after Dutch
financial giants ABN Amro and ING Group ruled themselves out of the
Maitland’s winning of the NatWest PR account has been put down to its
chairman, Angus Maitland’s close professional relationship with NatWest
chairman, Sir David Rowland.