British bank Northern Rock looking for suitors after defeating rebel shareholders

LONDON, Jan 15, 2008 (AFP) – Northern Rock, the British bank almost sunk by the global credit crunch, on Tuesday defeated most of the plans by rebel shareholders to limit management’s ability to sell the group without consulting investors. However, the Financial Times on Tuesday reported that Brown would not be forced into making a snap decision on whether to nationalise Northern Rock should the bank’s other shareholders back SRM and RAB Capital.

The measures had been drawn up by the bank’s two biggest shareholders, hedge funds SRM Global and RAB Capital, which together own 18 percent of Northern Rock.

“Whilst we are pleased that all but one of the resolutions proposed by SRM and RAB Capital were not carried, we recognise that a material number of shareholders did vote in favour of these resolutions,” Northern Rock chairman Bryan Sanderson said in a statement.

“Shareholders should be assured that the board of the company will continue to work towards securing the best possible outcome for shareholders and other stakeholders in the company,” he added.

The single proposal that won shareholder approval obliges Northern Rock to consult investors before issuing new shares worth more than 5.0 million pounds (6.6 million euros,