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CO-OP FIGHTS HOSTILE TAKE-OVER

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One of local government's biggest bankers, the Co-operative Bank, is determined to stop a hostile takover bid. ...
One of local government's biggest bankers, the Co-operative Bank, is determined to stop a hostile takover bid.

The bank's sole shareholder, the Co-operative Wholesale Society, is understood to be the subject of predatory attention from businessman Andrew Regan's Lanica Trust. No formal bid has been made.

More than 80 local authorities, from large metropolitan councils such as Birmingham and Manchester to small districts, hold Co-op accounts. The bank prides itself on its strong reputation for ethical investment and promoting community partnerships.

A bank spokesman said councils were attracted to the Co-op because of its expertise in the local government market. In 1995 it set up a£10 million loan fund to support co- operatives providing care in the community and agreed£2.2m in loans for 18 rural housing schemes.
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