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Lloyds TSB HBOS merger could take two years

Full integration of HBOS into Lloyds TSB could take up to two years, according to HBOS chief executive Andy Hornby.

The news came in a letter from Hornby to HBOS staff which detailed why the decision to sell up to Lloyds was the right idea.

Rival bidder

Since the takeover deal was announced on September 17 there have been reports that a rival bid from another bank could be made as the deal between HBOS and Lloyds is still yet to be approved by shareholders.

According to Sir Peter Burt, an ex-HBOS owned Bank of Scotland governor, the £12.5 billion offer from Lloyds values HBOS at a quarter of what it was valued at a year ago. He said this would “usually” attract other companies to bid.

This raises further questions about the deal. The combination of Lloyds and HBOS would usually defy competition laws, but the Government has given its backing on financial stability grounds.

On that basis it’s unlikely another bidder would be given the Government’s blessing for a rival takeover.

Insider trading

City watchdogs are expected to investigate huge profits made by speculators in the two minutes of trading at the London Stock Exchange before the HBOS and Lloyds deal was made public.

Details of the takeover were made by the BBC’s business editor Robert Peston at 9.00am on September 17, four hours before a formal announcement, sending shares soaring from 88p to 215p.

However, at 8:57am and 8:58am two buyers acquired more than 20 million HBOS shares at 96p making a profit of nearly £190m.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) would not comment to say if was starting an investigation into circumstances over the merger.

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