Maitland called in for NatWest defence bid

NatWest this week recruited the Maitland Consultancy to work alongside Bell Pottinger Financial to fend off the Bank of Scotland’s hostile takeover bid.

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

ahead’.



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

any agencies.



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

management team.’



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

running.



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.



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