13/11/2008 - 10:19

Westpac, St George merger approved

13/11/2008 - 10:19

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A count of proxy votes cast by St George Bank shareholders has gone in favour of the bank's proposed merger with Westpac Banking Corp.

Westpac, St George merger approved

A count of proxy votes cast by St George Bank shareholders has gone in favour of the bank's proposed merger with Westpac Banking Corp.

Some 94.37 per cent of proxy votes were in favour of the merger, with 4.95 per cent against.

The proposal had been expected to pass.

By holder, 88.89 per cent of votes were cast in favour, with 9.8 per cent against.

The proposal had been expected to pass despite St George Bank chairman John Curtis saying ealier today that although the proposal take over is very compelling there is the prospect of job losses.

"The Westpac proposal was about bringing together two very successful businesses with iconic brands and complementary cultures and therefore it made great strategic sense," Mr Curtis said.

But he warned there may be job losses.

"Yes, unfortunately there may well be some job losses, mainly in the back office and head office functions, which are inevitable with any merger," Mr Curtis said.

"But Westpac have given a commitment to minimise job losses through natural attrition and redeployment wherever possible."

Westpac offered $1.31 of its shares for every St George share. St George shareholders will also receive a special dividend payment.

The offer had already been recommended by St George directors.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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