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Northern Rock - past events
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Northern Rock - past events
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Northern Rock Plc - Past Events
This page gives all the history of events at Northern Rock, and the actions of the Shareholders Action Group, before the nationalisation of the company in February 2008 (go to the main page for later events).
Following the announcement by the company that it had been effectively rescued by the Bank of England from a cash funding crisis, both shareholders and depositors seemed to panic. UKSA issued the following press release on the 19th September 2007: Press045_Northern_Rock. Then as it became apparent that the company might be sold quickly and at a low price, we announced the formation of a Shareholders Action Group for Northern Rock shareholders in the following press release: Press046_Northern_Rock_Action.
Events thereafter are listed in chronological order from 25/9/2007 - latest at bottom - go to the Events link in the right margin for a history of the events at Northern Rock before that date:
The following announcement was issued by the company on the 25th September at 6.29 pm (which was after the news of the dividend being cancelled had been widely broadcast by the BBC - another apparent leek of news from the company prior to a proper and public RNS announcement):
"In light of recent speculation the Company wishes to provide the market with an update. The Company has received a number of approaches regarding a variety of potential transactions, including the possibility of an offer being made for the Company although no price has been referred to. The Company is in preliminary discussions with selected parties but emphasises that there can be no certainty as to the outcome of such discussions. The Board is also continuing to progress the evolution of its business model in the light of current market conditions. The Board believes that it would not be appropriate to make any interim dividend payment until it can make a full announcement regarding the outcome of discussions with other parties and the development of the business model. Accordingly the Board is cancelling the interim dividend per share of 14.2p announced on 25 July 2007 which was due for payment on 26 October 2007."
The following note was issued to our Northern Rock shareholder contacts on the 28th September: Update_1
A letter from Philip Richards of RAB Capital who had acquired more than 6% of the company's shares and was published in more than one national newspaper is given in: Richards_Letter . It provides a good commentary on some of the issues.
You can listen to a discussion of Northern Rock on the BBC's Moneybox programme (including UKSA spokesman Roger Lawson) that was broadcast on the 29th September by clicking on: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/moneybox/7017902.stm . Note that this is just one example of the extensive media coverage that our campaign has generated with numerous references and quotations from UKSA in the Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, and other publications.
Following press reports that the Treasury has met with private equity bidders for the Northern Rock business and is possibly "encouraging" the company to dispose of its assets, UKSA sent the following letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling: Darling_Letter. Supporters of this Action Group are invited to send similar letters to Mr Darling (fax to 020-7270-4580 or email to email@example.com ).UKSA has also written to the company requesting a copy of the share register and intends to write to all shareholders in due course.
A petition on this matter was set up on the Prime Minister's web site by one of our supporters. It collected 1,158 signatures in the short time it was open.
On the tenth anniversary of Northern Rock becoming a public company, the share price fell to a new low of 132p. It went public on the 1st October 1997 at a price of 452p.
The following note was issued to shareholders on the 6th October 2007 and includes a report of a meeting with the Chairman of Northern Rock: Update_2 The Financial Times contained the following in a front page article on the 8th October as a quotation from Roger Lawson of UKSA commenting on the position of Chairman Matt Ridley: "We question whether he is the right person to provide the leadership to get the company through its present difficulties".
Update Number 3 was issued to shareholders on the 9th October. See Update_3. Update 4 was issued by UKSA on the 12th October accompanied by the following press release explaining why Northern Rock should be defended: Press047_Northern_Rock_Independence and by this fund appeal letter: Appeal_Letter
The following press release was issued as Update No. 5 on 18/10/2007: Press049_Northern_Rock_Value (mainly to try and stifle some inaccurate press comment).
On 19/10/2007 Chairman Matt Ridley resigned and a new Chairman was appointed - Bryan Sanderson, a former chairman of Standard Chartered bank and who hails from the North East of England, which sounds like a perfect fit for the job. This news and the Events document available in the right hand panel of this page was issued as Update No. 6 on 22/10/2007.
On 25/10/2007 the following letter was sent to the media by Philip Richards of RAB Capital: Richards_Letter2. Mr Richards was also quoted extensively in the Daily Telegraph on that day, including this comment: "It (Northern Rock) has a good quality loan book, and it should not fail because of a crisis in the system caused by the non-intervention of the Bank of England in the interbank market", and "The best solution is a non-newsworthy one, which is that Northern Rock gradually recovers". This information was issued as Update No. 7.
This update was issued on 16/11/2007: Update_10 . The best comment on the provision of Government support to possible bidders was that in the Daily Telegraph by Jeff Randall who said: "This is an outrageous - and unacceptable - demand for private profit at public expense. The intention it seems is that someone should make off with the gold mine while the rest of us are given the shaft".
The following note was issued on 22/11/2007: Update_11 . It covered recent Board changes, statements from the company and the Treasury and how you might be tricked out of your shares. It also suggested letters you could write to try and stop any such possibilities.
On the 26th November and 28th November, UKSA held meetings for shareholders in Newcastle and London. See Meetings for a report on those events.
THE VIRGIN AND OLIVANT PROPOSALS. This note was issued following the announcement of Virgin Group as the "preferred bidder": Update_12. The following note was issued following the announcement by Olivant of their proposals for the company: Update_13
Update_14 was issued on the 15th December and covers the Commons debate and other news. The following letter was sent to George Osborne in response to an article written by him for the Financial Times: Osborne_Letter. On the 24th December Update_15 was issued.
THE EGM. On the 6th January 2008 the following was issued concerning the forthcoming Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM): Update_16 . The meeting documents are given in the following files: EGM_Notice. and EGM_Proxy_Form. Our voting recommendations are given on this page: EGMVoting. The following statements were issued by RAB Capital and SRM Global in support of their requisitioned resolutions: RAB and SRM. On the 12th January Update_17 was issued and included some suggested questions to pose at the EGM. The following press release was issued about voting at the EGM on the 17th January 2008: Press054_Northern_Rock_EGM. A report on the meeting is present in: EGM_Report.
THE TREASURY PLAN. This press release on possible nationalisation was issued soon afterwards: Press055, together with Update_18, followed by this press release after the announcement by the Treasury of the plan to convert the loans from the Bank of England into bonds: Press056. A more expanded commentary on the situation after the Treasury announcement is given in: Update_19.
MP'S REPORT. This note gives our comments on the Treasury Committee's report on the Northern Rock affair, where we come to somewhat different conclusions as to the causes and the failings of the parties involved: Update_20
In January 2008 we asked our contacts among Northern Rock shareholders to give us some comments on what we had been doing. You can see what they said on the following page: NorthernRockComments
THE PROPOSALS RECEIVED BY THE COMPANY AND OLIVANT'S WITHDRAWAL. On the 5th February we issued this note about the two proposals submitted by the Government deadline, and the announcement on the same day of the surprise withdrawal of Olivant: Update_21 . More information on the latest proposals was given in Update_22 - it also explains more explicitly why we do not support the Virgin proposal. On the 17th February which issued the following note about the pending decisions by the Government: Update_23.
THE NATIONALISATION OF NORTHERN ROCK. (17/2/2008). UKSA has issued the following press release following the announcement by the Government that Northern Rock is to be nationalised: Press058_NRK_Nationalisation. Soon after we issued the following note: Update_24.