C&G opponents await decision by court: Vivien Goldsmith on next moves in takeover battle

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The Independent Online
THE group opposing the takeover of Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society will await the outcome of next week's court hearing before it proposes a special general meeting of C&G members to debate the issues.

The group is confident of raising the 100 signatures needed to call a special meeting.

All the writers of letters sent to the C&G Alternatives Group via the Independent will be notified of the next stage in the campaign.

Paul Rivlin, one of those behind the campaign, says the wording of a resolution to put to members at a special general meeting would focus on obtaining a full report of the offer, examining alternatives and a proper means of putting them to members. 'These are motherhood things - it's not at all radical.

'Having started along this path, something will happen to C&G. I don't think it can settle back to being a building society. But some people want it to stay mutual.'

The group is generally agreed that it objects to the way members will be faced with a yes or no vote without an opportunity to consider other options.

Peter Nicholson, another of the group organisers, said the two-day court hearing due to start on Monday would address the terms of the Lloyds bid and not provide general pointers. 'We are not very happy about that.'

Among the letters sent on to the group was one from Maureen Hope from Bradford-on-Avon who said: 'If, as I had always supposed, the investors collectively own the society then it follows that each investor should be frankly consulted at all significant stages of the running and development of the society.'

Desmond Woffenden, of Badminton, Avon, said he was concerned that the Lloyds bid should reflect the market value of C&G. 'Most definitely we ought not to accept the first bid made - not without a great deal of further information.'

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