Woolwich to pay out pounds 800 in shares

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The Independent Online
More than 2.5 million members of Woolwich Building Society will find out next week that they will receive shares worth at least pounds 800 when the society makes its stock market debut later this year.

The precise details of the share distribution and estimated share price range will be revealed on Monday. This is when the society intends to start mailing its 100-page transfer document through first class post in an exercise which is expected to take 11 days.

Separately, the wait of the 9 million members of Halifax should also end soon. Halifax expects to reach a decision at the start of the week on the mailing date of the transfer document for its pounds 11bn stock market flotation which has been planned since 1994.

Woolwich's transfer document is expected to confirm that its flotation, which is estimated at between pounds 3bn to pounds 3.5bn, will take the form of a two-pronged share distribution to members.

First, each of the society's 2.5 million or so eligible members will get a flat distribution of shares, which are expected to be worth around pounds 800. In addition, two-year savers with a minimum balance of pounds 1,000 on 31 December 1995 and 11 February 1997 will receive an additional distribution of shares which could double the value of their share distribution.

The society is also writing to around 1 million of its members who it believes are not entitled to receive any shares or take part in the planned vote on 11 February in the Docklands.