Shareholders vote in favour of F&C takeover

Michael Bow
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F&C ASSET Management is on the verge of becoming a subsidiary of Canadian lender Bank of Montreal after shareholders yesterday voted through the £708m takeover deal.

Almost all of F&C’s shareholders that voted – approximately 99.6 per cent – supported the deal. The owners of 58 per cent of the company’s shares voted.

The F&C name will vanish from the London stock market on 6 May when shares are suspended.

The offer of 120p a share from Bank of Montreal was revealed in January.

There was concern the deal could be scuppered after F&C’s second biggest shareholder Standard Life said it wanted to explore options for a higher take-out price.

F&C’s top shareholder Aviva supported the 120p a share deal.

Hedge fund investor Elliott Advisors swooped to acquire shares in F&C ahead of the deal, taking its shareholding to 20 per cent.

It bought into the company using contracts for difference (CFDs), which do not confer voting rights.

The deal could still fall apart if a better offer is made before F&C shares are suspended from the market.