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Bendigo Bank offer to IOOF shareholders

26 July 2002 |Media centre

Bendigo Bank will offer to buy up to ten per cent of the newly-issued shares in IOOF Holdings Ltd, the bank's managing director, Rob Hunt, announced today.

Mr Hunt said Bendigo would write to IOOF's shareholders offering to buy their shares for a cash payment of $2.70 per share.

The offer is within the independent valuation provided to IOOF members before they voted to end the company's 156-year mutual structure from 30 June 2002.

Mr Hunt said Bendigo Bank viewed its proposal as a way to support its alliance partner and to provide certainty of value to IOOF's new shareholders.

"Both organisations originated from similar backgrounds and we share a community focus as a core element of our business strategies. Bendigo Bank has a close strategic relationship with IOOF Group, which provides funds management administration and investment management services to many of our wealth management customers.

"We therefore believe it is in the interest of both companies for IOOF shareholders to be able to realise the value of their holding with certainty while giving IOOF comfort that its stock is held by a partner who shares its aims for the business.

"There are now IOOF shareholders whose shares will not be listed on the Australian Stock Exchange for some time and who might receive offers for their shares at prices less than their value.

"To support our alliance partner and ensure IOOF shareholders receive fair value for their shares should their circumstances require them to sell, Bendigo Bank is offering to buy their shares for $2.70 per share.

"This price is within the value range assessed by IOOF's independent expert and ensures shareholders electing to sell prior to listing have access to an equitable facility to sell their shares."

Bendigo's offer is for up to ten per cent of IOOF's issued shares. Ten percent is the maximum number of shares that may be acquired by any person pursuant to IOOF's constitution. Bendigo will accept offers in the order in which valid acceptances are received. Once acceptances are received for ten per cent of IOOF's shares, the offer will terminate and no more acceptances will be dealt with. Any acceptances received after the limit is reached will be returned within five days.

Mr Hunt said offer letters would be sent out today and shareholders would have until Friday 23 August 2002 to accept.

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