Barclays to buy Woolwich for £5.5bn

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The Independent Online

Barclays PLC confirmed that it is negotiating a possible acquisition of Woolwich PLC, a mortgage banker, in a deal which would be worth £5.5bn.

Barclays PLC confirmed that it is negotiating a possible acquisition of Woolwich PLC, a mortgage banker, in a deal which would be worth £5.5bn.

The offer, if made, would include £1.64 cash and 0.1175 Barclays shares for each Woolwich share, Barclays said.

Woolwich sharesholders would retain the Woolwich interim dividend of 4.4 pence a share.

The offer would value Woolwich at 362 pence a share, a premium of 34 percent over Woolwich's closing price Tuesday.

That would value Woolwich at about £5.5bn.

The announcement set Woolwich's shares racing 22 percent, or 61p, higher to 330p - but still well short of the 362p a share valuation of Barclays' bid.

The prospect of such a weighty acquisition hit Barclays shares which slumped 92p to £15.72.

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