15 Jan, 2008
Northern Rock's two largest shareholders have said they are
interested in the bank's long-term future, not short-term
Hedge funds RAB Capital and SRM Global, which together own nearly
18% of NR, asked shareholders at the bank's EGM in Newcastle to
vote for a resolution giving them more say over the bank's
By 2pm this afternoon the board will know if they have to seek
shareholder approval if they want to sell assets worth more than 5%
of the company's value.
Phillip Richards, chief executive of RAB Capital, told
shareholders: "We want any major change in the company's
structure to go before shareholders before it is mzde.
"Northern Rock is a company that deserves to survive. It has
helped to reduce the cost of buying a house across the whole
country by around 50 basis points, because of its competitive
pricing and other lenders being forced to follow suit."
He adds: "We are in it for the long term and we believe this
resolution is all about empowerment, not taking power from the
board. We believe nationalisation would be a slow death.
Jon Wood, chief executive of SRM Global, revealed the two hedge
funds had offered financial support to the board through a rights
He adds: "This is a great bank and I'm sad to think
people believe we are interested in it short term. We are not
playing bluff. The message is that we're here, ready and
willing to support a private sector solution."