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Friday, 19 November, 1999, 17:06 GMT
NatWest bid timetable frozen
Trade Secretary Stephen Byers Trade Secretary Stephen Byers is keeping both sides waiting

The Takeover Panel has stopped the clock in Bank of Scotland's 22bn bid for NatWest

It took the decision after delays by the government in deciding whether to demand a Competition Commission probe.

Under the strict rules of the Takeover Code, NatWest had 39 days from when the BoS offer document was posted to make public all "significant financial information", such as profit forecasts.

That original deadline would have meant NatWest having to report this coming Monday.

Brief statement

But the process has now been frozen by the Takeover Panel - the regulatory body with the job of ensuring both sides stick to the City's standards of fair play.

It has moved the NatWest deadline to two days after Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers decides whether to refer the bid to the Competition Commission.

The news came in a brief statement to the Stock Exchange by the Takeover Panel.

The Office of Fair Trading(OFT) is currently examining the bid and whether it should recommend a Competition Commission referral.

Last week the OFT said it would extend by two weeks to 3 December its deadline for making the decision.

The delay also pushes back the deadline for BoS to raise its bid and gives other possible bidders, headed by Royal Bank of Scotland, more time to consider launching a rival offer.
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See also:
27 Sep 99 |  The Company File
Timetable of a takeover
08 Nov 99 |  The Company File
Rival bid for NatWest moves closer
27 Oct 99 |  The Company File
NatWest cuts jobs in takeover battle
04 Oct 99 |  The Company File
NatWest considers break-up
08 Oct 99 |  The Company File
NatWest chief executive ousted
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