Wednesday, April 18, 2007

TD Banknorth Approves TD Bank's Bid for Stake

Bloomberg, Sean B. Pasternak and Doug Alexander, 18 April 2007

TD Banknorth Inc. shareholders approved a $3.2 billion bid from Toronto-Dominion Bank for the 40.2 percent stake that Canada's second-largest bank doesn't already own.

About 94 percent of TD Banknorth shareholders, excluding Toronto-Dominion, voted in favor of the $32.33-a-share cash offer at a meeting today in Portland, Maine.

Toronto-Dominion Chief Executive Officer Edmund Clark has vowed to turn around TD Banknorth, whose profits have declined in five of the past seven quarters. The bank plans to cut 400 jobs and close as many as 24 branches in New Jersey, New York and other states.

The Toronto-based bank bought about 51 percent of TD Banknorth for $3.5 billion in March 2005, its first acquisition in the U.S. consumer-lending market. The bank agreed in November to buy the remaining shares, bringing its total investment in Maine's biggest bank to at least $6.7 billion.

``We're paying top dollar and I think if you take a look at the banking environment in the United States today, it's a fairly courageous move for us to put another $3 billion on the table in the banking sector today,'' Clark said today. ``We wouldn't have paid more.''

TD Banknorth shares will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange on April 20, Toronto-Dominion said today in a statement.