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Green light for $2.2 billion bank merger

Friday 10th December 2010

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The proposed $2.2 billion merger to create a New Zealand controlled listed banking and financial services group is on track for final court orders on December 16.

The news comes after CBS Canterbury advised that depositors voted yes to the proposed merger with Southern Cross Building Society and MARAC Finance.

Bruce Irvine, chairman of Building Society Holdings (BSHL) , the merged group, said "Support for the merger has been overwhelming. It is not only from our shareholders and depositors who have voted yes but it is also from a much broader cross section - businesses, community leaders, politicians and others - all of whom want to see us succeed in our aspiration of becoming a bank."

"We firmly believe the merger is a compelling value enhancing proposition for members and shareholders that would not otherwise be available to each of us on a standalone basis. Our depositors and shareholders obviously support that view."

The resolution required approval by at least 75% of the CBS deposits voting and 87.1% of the votes cast were in favour of the merger.

Irvine said with the completion of the seventh and final vote on the merger work could now commence on integrating the three businesses.

"We have a strong executive team, with strong banking experience, which is driving this process. There is also an experienced board in place to oversee the business strategy," he said.

Following the completion of the merger the next milestone will be the NZSX listing of BSHL, with the quotation of shares expected to occur on January 31, 2011.


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