UK shareholders to miss €7bn Santander issue

Santander’s 1.8m UK private shareholders are to miss out on the opportunity to participate in the Spanish bank’s €7bn ($8.76bn) rights issue after it decided there was not enough time to allow them to participate.

Santander has written to its UK shareholders to tell them that they will not have the opportunity to take up their rights in the bank’s fundraising. Instead, the bank is planning to sell their entitlements in the market and distribute the proceeds.

Santander to launch €7.2bn rights issue - Nov-10Red faces over Santander cash call - Nov-10Lex: Santander joins the party - Nov-10In depth: European bank results - Jun-26Upbeat Santander sticks to €10bn profit target - Oct-28Abbey gains market share in mortgages - Oct-28The news, first reported by the Times, is a fresh blow for UK shareholders’ rights after the furore over Barclays’ £7bn fundraising, which this week was given an “amber top” alert by the Association of British Insurers.

Santander inherited a large UK shareholder base via its takeovers of Abbey National and Alliance & Leicester. The average UK shareholder in Santander holds about 100 shares.

Santander said it had decided on the move after concluding that it could not send the rights issue documents to shareholders in time. Santander is planning to complete its rights issue in 15 days. It said it would set up a cost-free dealing facility to give shareholders the chance to buy new shares following the rights issue by UK banks.

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