TIDMLLOY

RNS Number : 9933R

Lloyds Banking Group PLC

10 November 2021

NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION IN OR INTO OR TO ANY PERSON LOCATED OR RESIDENT IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ITS TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS (INCLUDING PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, GUAM, AMERICAN SOMOA, WAKE ISLAND AND THE NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS, ANY STATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA) (THE "UNITED STATES") OR TO ANY U.S. PERSON (AS DEFINED BELOW) OR TO ANY OTHER PERSON WHERE OR TO WHOM IT IS UNLAWFUL TO RELEASE, PUBLISH OR DISTRIBUTE THIS DOCUMENT.

(SEE "OFFER AND DISTRIBUTION RESTRICTIONS" BELOW)

LLOYDS BANKING GROUP PLC ANNOUNCES AN UPDATE ON THE FUTURE REGULATORY CLASSIFICATION OF ITS THREE SERIES OF STERLING PREFERENCE SHARES AND TER OFFERS IN RELATION TO THOSE PREFERENCE SHARES

10 November 2021

Lloyds Banking Group plc (the "Offeror") is today providing an update on the future regulatory classification of its three series of sterling Preference Shares and is announcing tender offers (the "Offers") for those Preference Shares.

From 1 January 2022, the Offeror will classify any remaining outstanding preference shares as ineligible for regulatory capital purposes. The legal ranking of the Preference Shares will remain unchanged.

This update to the future regulatory classification follows the 'Dear CFO' letter sent by the Prudential Regulation Authority to all major UK deposit takers dated 16 November 2020 requesting all firms to take steps to remediate the prudential treatment of legacy instruments. The Group's updated capital instruments report as at 31 December 2021 will be published in February 2022 together with the Group's full year results for 2021. The Group reserves the right to review such classification in the future, to the extent permitted by applicable law and regulation.

The Offeror is also undertaking the Offers to provide Shareholders with an opportunity to liquidate their holding at the relevant Purchase Price. The voluntary Offers are part of the Group's continuous review and management of its outstanding capital base, maintaining a prudent approach to the management of the Group's capital position. Preference Shares which are not validly tendered and accepted for purchase pursuant to the Offers will remain outstanding after completion of the Offers and shall remain subject to their existing terms and conditions.

The Offeror has launched, contemporaneously with the launch of the Offers, a liability management exercise in respect of two series of U.S. dollar preference shares issued by the Offeror and represented by American Depositary Shares.

THE OFFERS

On the terms of and subject to the conditions contained in a tender offer memorandum dated 10 November 2021 (the "Tender Offer Memorandum"), the Offeror has invited Shareholders (subject to the Offer and Distribution Restrictions referred to below) to tender their Preference Shares for purchase by the Offeror at the relevant Purchase Price together with, in respect of Preference Shares accepted for purchase by the Offeror from Retail Holders whose respective validly submitted Tender Instructions are received by the Receiving Agent after the General Expiration Deadline and prior to the Retail-Only Expiration Deadline only, an Incremental Accrued Dividend Payment.

Capitalised terms not otherwise defined in this announcement have the same meaning as assigned to them in the Tender Offer Memorandum. The Tender Offer Memorandum may be viewed by eligible Shareholders on the website of the Information Agent via the following link: https://deals.lucid-is.com/lbg. Eligible Shareholders may also request a hard copy of the Tender Offer Memorandum by contacting the Receiving Agent at the telephone number provided below.

The Preference Shares

The table below identifies the three Series of Preference Shares which are subject to the Offers (each a "Series" and together the "Preference Shares").

 
 
                                                                        Purchase Price 
     Description of                        Aggregate Liquidation    (including accrued and      Amount subject to the 
    Preference Shares          ISIN       Preference Outstanding     unpaid dividends)(1)               Offer 
------------------------  -------------  ------------------------  ------------------------  ------------------------- 
 GBP198,065,600 6.475%     GB00B3KSB568             GBP56,472,211                  112.050%                Any and all 
 Non-Cumulative 
 Preference Shares(2) 
 (the "6.475% Preference 
 Shares") 
 GBP300,000,000 9.25%      GB00B3KS9W93            GBP299,987,729                  167.250%                Any and all 
 Non-Cumulative 
 Irredeemable Preference 
 Shares 
 (the "9.25% Preference 
 Shares") 
 GBP100,000,000 9.75%      GB00B3KSB238             GBP55,740,886                  174.200%                Any and all 
 Non-Cumulative 
 Irredeemable Preference 
 Shares 
 (the "9.75% Preference 
 Shares") 
 

(1) For further detail on the Purchase Price and accrued and unpaid dividends payable, please see below.

(2) Redeemable, at the option of the Offeror, on 15 September 2024 or any dividend payment date falling on each fifth anniversary of such date thereafter, at their liquidation preference amount.

Amount subject to the Offers

If, in respect of any Series, the Offeror decides to accept any Preference Shares of such Series validly tendered for purchase pursuant to the relevant Offer, the Offeror intends to accept all validly tendered Preference Shares of such Series for purchase in full with no pro rata scaling. The Offeror is not under any obligation to accept for purchase any Preference Shares tendered pursuant to any Offer. The acceptance for purchase by the Offeror of Preference Shares tendered pursuant to each Offer is at the sole and absolute discretion of the Offeror and tenders may be rejected by the Offeror for any reason.

Purchase Price and Accrued Dividends

The Purchase Price of each Series accepted for purchase is set out in the table above, and is expressed as a percentage of the liquidation preference of the relevant Series of Preference Shares. If the General Settlement Date is not a dividend payment date in respect of the relevant Series of Preference Shares, the Purchase Price in respect of that Series of Preference Shares includes an amount equal to any accrued and unpaid dividends on the relevant Preference Shares from, and including, the dividend payment date for the relevant Preference Shares immediately preceding General Settlement Date up to, but excluding, the General Settlement Date. Accordingly, the Purchase Price for the 6.475% Preference Shares includes an amount equal to accrued and unpaid dividends on the relevant Preference Shares from, and including, the dividend payment date for the relevant Preference Shares immediately preceding the General Settlement Date up to, but excluding, the General Settlement Date.

The next dividend payment date pursuant to the terms of the 9.25% Preference Shares and the 9.75% Preference Shares is 30 November 2021 (for which purposes the Record Date for each Series is 5 November 2021). Holders of such Preference Shares as at the Record Date will be entitled to the dividend payment due on 30 November 2021 pursuant to the terms of each Series. Such payment will be in addition (but separate to) to any payment of the Purchase Price and any Incremental Accrued Dividend Payment by the Offeror pursuant to the terms of the relevant Offer.

Accordingly, the amount equal to accrued and unpaid dividends which is included in the respective Purchase Price for each of the 9.25% Preference Shares and the 9.75% Preference Shares is zero.

For Preference Shares accepted for purchase by the Offeror for settlement on the General Settlement Date, there shall be no additional payment by the Offeror after the General Settlement Date in respect of any accrued and unpaid dividends.

In respect of any Preference Shares which are accepted for purchase from Retail Holders whose respective validly submitted Tender Instructions are received by the Receiving Agent after the General Expiration Deadline and prior to the Retail-Only Expiration Deadline, the Offeror will also pay on the Retail-Only Settlement Date an amount equal to any accrued and unpaid dividends on the relevant Preference Shares from, and including, the General Settlement Date up to, but excluding, the Retail-Only Settlement Date (being the Incremental Accrued Dividend Payment).

For Preference Shares accepted for purchase by the Offeror for settlement on the Retail-Only Settlement Date, there shall be no additional payment by the Offeror after the Retail-Only Settlement Date in respect of any accrued and unpaid dividends.

The amount included (if any) in the Purchase Price equal to accrued and unpaid dividends and the Incremental Accrued Dividend Payment are payments pursuant to the terms of the relevant Offer and are not, for the avoidance of doubt, payment pursuant to the terms of the relevant Preference Shares.

For illustration purposes and assuming that the General Settlement Date and Retail-Only Settlement Date are not subsequently amended from those set out in this announcement, the cash amount of the Purchase Consideration in respect of a single Preference Share of each Series, and the Incremental Accrued Dividend Payment (which is payable only in respect of Preference Shares which are accepted for purchase from Retail Holders for which the respective validly submitted Tender Instructions are received by the Receiving Agent after the General Expiration Deadline and prior to the Retail-Only Expiration Deadline) in respect of a single Preference Share of each Series is expected to be as follows:

 
 Series                      Purchase Consideration*    Incremental Accrued Dividend Payment* 
--------------------------  -------------------------  -------------------------------------- 
 6.475% Preference Shares    GBP1.12050                 0.26610p 
 9.25% Preference Shares     GBP1.67250                 0.38118p 
 9.75% Preference Shares     GBP1.74200                 0.40179p 
 

* Shown to 5 decimal places for illustrative purposes.

See further the paragraph entitled "Total Consideration" below.

The Settlement Date for Institutional Holders and for Retail Holders whose respective validly submitted Tender Instructions are received by the Receiving Agent prior to the General Expiration Deadline is expected to be 30 November 2021.

The Settlement Date for Retail Holders whose respective validly submitted Tender Instructions are received by the Receiving Agent after the General Expiration Deadline and prior to the Retail-Only Expiration Deadline is expected to be 15 December 2021.

Preference Shares repurchased by the Offeror pursuant to the Offers will be immediately cancelled.

Total Consideration

The total consideration payable to each Shareholder in respect of Preference Shares validly submitted for tender and accepted for purchase by the Offeror will be an amount in cash equal to (i) the Purchase Price for the relevant Preference Shares multiplied by the aggregate liquidation preference of Preference Shares validly tendered and delivered by such Shareholder and accepted by the Offeror for purchase (rounded to the nearest GBP0.01, with GBP0.005 being rounded upwards) and (ii) in the case of Preference Shares accepted for purchase from Retail Holders whose respective validly submitted Tender Instructions are received by the Receiving Agent after the General Expiration Deadline and prior to the Retail-Only Expiration Deadline only, the Incremental Accrued Dividend Payment in respect of such Preference Shares.

A "Retail Holder" is a holder of Preference Shares (a) who holds less than GBP100,000 in aggregate liquidation preference of the Preference Shares of the relevant Series, (b) whose ordinary activities do not involve that person buying, selling, subscribing for or underwriting instruments such as the Preference Shares for the purpose of a business carried on by that person, and (c) who it is reasonable to expect will not carry on the activities described in (b) above for the purposes of a business carried on by that person.

An "Institutional Holder" is any Shareholder that is not a Retail Holder.

INDICATIVE TIMETABLE

The following table sets out the expected dates and times of the key events relating to the Tender Offers. This is an indicative timetable and is subject to change. Accordingly, the actual timetable may differ from the timetable below.

 
Date and Time         Action                                              Applicability 
                                                                           to Institutional 
                                                                           and/or Retail 
                                                                           Holders 
------------------    ------------------------------------------------ 
10 November 2021      Commencement of the Offers 
                       Offers announced by way of announcements             Institutional 
                       on the relevant Notifying News Service(s)            and Retail 
                       and via RNS. 
                       Tender Offer Memorandum available 
                       from the Information Agent and the 
                       Receiving Agent. 
19 November 2021      General Expiration Deadline 
 1.00 p.m. London      Final deadline for receipt by the                    Institutional 
 time                  Receiving Agent of all Tender Instructions 
                       in order for Institutional Holders 
                       to be able to participate in the 
                       Offers.                                              Retail* 
                       Deadline for receipt by the Receiving 
                       Agent of any Tender Instructions 
                       from Retail Holders if such Retail 
                       Holders wish to be eligible to receive 
                       payment on the General Settlement 
                       Date in respect of Preference Shares 
                       accepted for purchase by the Offeror. 
22 November 2021            Announcement of Results following             Institutional 
                             the General Expiration Deadline               and Retail* 
                             Announcement of the Offeror's decision 
                             whether to accept valid tenders of 
                             Preference Shares received prior 
                             to the General Expiration Deadline 
                             pursuant to the Offers. 
                             Details of: 
                             (i) the final aggregate liquidation 
                             preference of the Preference Shares 
                             of each Series validly tendered pursuant 
                             to the Offers prior to the General 
                             Expiration Deadline; and 
                             (ii) the aggregate liquidation preference 
                             of Preference Shares of each Series 
                             that will remain outstanding after 
                             the General Settlement Date, 
                             distributed by way of announcements 
                             on the relevant Notifying News Service(s) 
                             and via RNS. 
30 November 2021      General Settlement Date 
                       Expected General Settlement Date                     Institutional 
                       for the Offers to Institutional Holders              and Retail* 
                       and for Retail Holders whose respective 
                       validly submitted Tender Instructions 
                       are received by the Receiving Agent 
                       prior to the General Expiration Deadline. 
                       Payment of Purchase Consideration 
                       to Institutional Holders and, if 
                       applicable, Retail Holders in respect 
                       of the Offers. 
6 December 2021       LBGSA Tender Deadline 
 1.00 p.m., London     Deadline for receipt by the LBGSA                    Retail Only 
 time                  Nominee of LBGSA Forms of Instruction 
                       in order for participants holding 
                       6.475% Preference Shares through 
                       the LBGSA Nominee to be able to participate 
                       in the Offer in respect of the 6.475% 
                       Preference Shares. 
9 December 2021       Retail-Only Expiration Deadline 
 1.00 p.m., London     Final deadline for receipt by the                    Retail Only 
 time                  Receiving Agent of all Tender Instructions 
                       in order for Retail Holders to be 
                       able to participate in the Offers. 
10 December 2021            Announcement of Results following 
                             the Retail-Only Expiration Deadline 
                             Announcement of the Offeror's decision         Retail Only 
                             whether to accept valid tenders of 
                             Preference Shares for purchase pursuant 
                             to the Offers to Retail Holders whose 
                             respective validly submitted Tender 
                             Instructions are received by the 
                             Receiving Agent after the General 
                             Expiration Deadline and prior to 
                             the Retail-Only Expiration Deadline. 
                             Details of: 
                             (i) the final aggregate liquidation 
                             preference of the Preference Shares 
                             of each Series validly tendered by 
                             Retail Holders whose respective validly 
                             submitted Tender Instructions are 
                             received by the Receiving Agent after 
                             the General Expiration Deadline and 
                             prior to the Retail-Only Expiration 
                             Deadline pursuant to the Offers; 
                             (ii) the total amount of Preference 
                             Shares purchased pursuant to the 
                             Offers (being the aggregate liquidation 
                             preference of the Preference Shares 
                             purchased on each of the Settlement 
                             Dates); and 
                             (iii) the final aggregate liquidation 
                             preference of Preference Shares of 
                             each Series that will remain outstanding 
                             after the Retail-Only Settlement 
                             Date, 
                             distributed by way of announcements 
                             on the relevant Notifying News Service(s) 
                             and via RNS. 
15 December 2021      Retail-Only Settlement Date 
                       Expected Retail-Only Settlement Date                 Retail Only 
                       for the Offers in respect of Retail 
                       Holders whose respective validly 
                       submitted Tender Instructions are 
                       received by the Receiving Agent after 
                       the General Expiration Deadline and 
                       prior to the Retail-Only Expiration 
                       Deadline. Payment of Purchase Consideration 
                       and Incremental Accrued Dividend 
                       Payment to Retail Holders in respect 
                       of the Offers. 
                       As detailed in the section "Terms 
                       and Conditions of the Offers - Payment" 
                       in the Tender Offer Memorandum, pursuant 
                       to the relevant Offer, payments in 
                       respect of Preference Shares held 
                       in certificated form may be made 
                       by cheque, and such cheque is expected 
                       to be issued 6 business days after 
                       the Retail-Only Settlement Date. 
                       Furthermore, pursuant to the relevant 
                       Offer, all payments of the Incremental 
                       Accrued Dividend Payment will be 
                       made outside of the CREST system 
                       and are therefore expected to be 
                       issued 6 business days after the 
                       Retail-Only Settlement Date. 
 

*Retail Holders may choose to participate in the Offers prior to either the General Expiration Deadline or the Retail-Only Expiration Deadline.

Subject to applicable law, the Offeror reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to extend, re-open, withdraw or terminate the Offers and to amend or waive any of the terms and conditions of the Offers, at any time after the announcement of the Offers as described in the Tender Offer Memorandum, including with respect to any Tender Instructions already submitted as of the time of any such extension, re-opening, withdrawal, termination, amendment or waiver.

If the Offeror withdraws or terminates any Offer, any relevant Preference Shares tendered for purchase pursuant to such Offer will not be purchased.

Unless stated otherwise, announcements in connection with the Offers will be made through RNS (http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-newshome.html). Announcements may also be made by (i) the issue of a press release to a Notifying News Service and (ii) the posting of such notices to the registered address of holders of the Preference Shares. Copies of all such announcements, press releases and notices can also be obtained from the Information Agent or the Receiving Agent, the contact details for whom are on the last page of this announcement. Significant delays may be experienced where notices are sent by post and Shareholders are urged to contact the Information Agent or the Receiving Agent, as applicable, for the relevant announcements relating to the Offers. In addition, Institutional Holders may contact the Dealer Managers for information using the contact details on the last page of this announcement.

Participation in the Offers

A tender of Preference Shares for purchase may only be made by the submission of a valid Tender Instruction and (in the case of Preference Shares not held in CREST) delivery of the certificate or certificates for the relevant Preference Shares or (in the case of 6.475% Preference Shares held through the LBGSA Nominee) by delivery to the LBGSA Nominee of a valid LBGSA Form of Instruction, in each case in accordance with the detailed procedures specified in the Tender Offer Memorandum. Different procedures apply for participation in the Offers in respect of (a) Preference Shares held in CREST, (b) Preference Shares held in certificated form and (c) 6.475% Preference Shares held through the LBGSA Nominee.

Participants holding 6.475% Preference Shares in the Lloyds Banking Group Shareholder Account, operated on the Offeror's behalf by Equiniti Corporate Nominees Financial Services Limited (the "LBGSA Nominee"), should refer to the separate communications provided by the LBGSA Nominee in respect of the Offer in respect of the 6.475% Preference Shares, and should note the earlier deadline of 6 December 2021 for receipt by the LBGSA Nominee of LBGSA Forms of Instruction.

Unless otherwise determined by the Offeror in its sole and absolute discretion, any Tender Instructions received by the Receiving Agent from Institutional Holders after the General Expiration Deadline will not be accepted. For technical reasons, however, any such Tender Instructions will only be released from escrow by the Receiving Agent following the Retail-Only Expiration Deadline.

Shareholders are advised to check with any bank, securities broker or other intermediary through which they hold Preference Shares whether such intermediary would require to receive instructions from a Shareholder in order for that Shareholder to be able to participate in, or (in the limited circumstances in which revocation is permitted) revoke their instruction to participate in, the Offers before the deadlines specified above. The deadlines set by any such intermediary and CREST for the submission of Tender Instructions will be earlier than the relevant deadlines specified above. Shareholders are also advised to ensure that, where any documents are posted to the Receiving Agent, they allow sufficient time to ensure receipt of such documents by the Receiving Agent by the relevant deadline. All documentation sent to or from a Shareholder is sent at such Shareholder's own risk.

Tender Instructions will be irrevocable except in the limited circumstances described in "Amendment and Termination - Revocation Rights" in the Tender Offer Memorandum.

Before making a decision with respect to the Offers, Shareholders should carefully consider all of the information in the Tender Offer Memorandum and, in particular, the risk factors described in the section entitled "Risk Factors and Other Considerations" in the Tender Offer Memorandum.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Lucid Issuer Services Limited has been appointed by the Offeror as information agent (the "Information Agent") and Equiniti Limited has been appointed by the Offeror to act as receiving agent (the "Receiving Agent") in connection with the Offers.

Credit Suisse International, Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc and Merrill Lynch International have been appointed by the Offeror as Dealer Managers (the "Dealer Managers") for the purposes of the Offers.

This announcement contains inside information in relation to the Preference Shares and is disclosed in accordance with the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) 596/2014 as it forms part of UK domestic law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 ("UK MAR"). For the purposes of UK MAR and Article 2 of the binding technical standards published by the Financial Conduct Authority in relation to UK MAR as regards Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1055, this announcement is made by Douglas Radcliffe, Group Investor Relations Director.

For further information please contact:

Group Corporate Treasury:

Liz Padley

Head of Capital Structuring, Holding Company and Resolution

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7158 1737

Email: Claire-Elizabeth.Padley@LloydsBanking.com

Investor Relations:

Douglas Radcliffe

Group Investor Relations Director

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7356 1571

Email: Douglas.Radcliffe@LloydsBanking.com

Corporate Affairs:

Matthew Smith

Head of Media Relations

Tel: +44 (0)20 7356 3522

Email: matt.smith@lloydsbanking.com

Requests for information in relation to the Offers should be directed to:

 
       Shareholders who hold their                   Shareholders who hold their 
    Preference Shares in certificated                Preference Shares through the 
            form may contact:                         LBGSA Nominee may contact: 
             RECEIVING AGENT                                LBGSA NOMINEE 
            Equiniti Limited                         Equiniti Financial Services 
            Corporate Actions                                   Limited 
               Aspect House                                  Aspect House 
               Spencer Road                                  Spencer Road 
                 Lancing                                        Lancing 
           West Sussex BN99 6DA                          West Sussex BN99 6DA 
              United Kingdom                                United Kingdom 
                          www.shareview.co.uk/clients/lloydsoffer 
                                  Telephone: 0371-384-2458* 
                       If calling from outside the UK +44 371-384-2458 
                 Shareholders who hold their Preference Shares in CREST may 
                                          contact: 
                                     INFORMATION AGENT 
                               Lucid Issuer Services Limited 
                                          The Shard 
                                   32 London Bridge Street 
                                       London SE1 9SG 
                                       United Kingdom 
                                 Freephone: 0800 048 5511** 
                       If calling from outside the UK +44 800 048 5511 
                           Attention: David Shilson / Owen Morris 
                                   email: lbg@lucid-is.com 
                           Website: https://deals.lucid-is.com/lbg 
                                      DEALER MANAGERS 
        Credit Suisse International                  Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets 
              One Cabot Square                                     plc 
               London E14 4QJ                               10 Gresham Street 
               United Kingdom                                London EC2V 7AE 
        Telephone: +44 20 7883 8763                          United Kingdom 
      Attention: Liability Management                 Tel: +44 20 7158 1726 / 1719 
                   Group                             Attention: Liability Management 
                   email:                                         Group 
   liability.management@credit-suisse.com     email: liability.management@lloydsbanking.com 
                                Merrill Lynch International 
                                    2 King Edward Street 
                                       London EC1A 1HQ 
                                       United Kingdom 
                                    Tel: +44 207 996 5420 
                            Attention: Liability Management Group 
                                 Email: DG.LM-EMEA@bofa.com 
 
 

* Lines are open from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (UK time) Monday to Friday (excluding English and Welsh public holidays). Calls to the helpline from outside the UK will be charged at the applicable international rate. Please note that calls may be recorded and randomly monitored for security and training purposes. Please note that Equiniti Limited and Equiniti Financial Services Limited cannot provide advice on the merits of the Offers or give financial, tax, investment or legal advice.

** Open from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (UK time) Monday to Friday. Please note that Lucid Issuer Services Limited cannot provide advice on the merits of the Offers or give financial, tax, investment or legal advice.

DISCLAIMER

This announcement must be read in conjunction with the Tender Offer Memorandum. This announcement and the Tender Offer Memorandum contain important information which should be read carefully before any decision is made with respect to the Offers. If any Shareholder is in any doubt as to the action it should take or is unsure of the impact of the Offers, it is recommended to seek its own financial and legal advice, including as to any tax consequences, from its stockbroker, bank manager, solicitor, accountant or other independent financial or legal adviser. Any individual or company whose Preference Shares are held on its behalf by a custodian, broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee or intermediary must contact such entity if it wishes to tender Preference Shares in the relevant Offer. None of the Offeror, the Dealer Managers, the Receiving Agent or the Information Agent (or any of their respective directors, officers, employees, agents or affiliates) is providing Shareholders with any legal, business, tax or other advice in the Tender Offer Memorandum or this announcement. Shareholders should consult with their own advisers as needed to assist them in making an investment decision and to advise them whether they are legally permitted to tender their Preference Shares for cash.

OFFER AND DISTRIBUTION RESTRICTIONS

Neither this announcement nor the Tender Offer Memorandum constitutes an offer or an invitation to participate in the Offers in the United States or in any other jurisdiction in which, or to any person to or from whom, it is unlawful to make such offer or invitation or for there to be such participation under applicable laws. The distribution of this announcement and the Tender Offer Memorandum in certain jurisdictions may be restricted by law. Persons into whose possession this announcement and/or theTender Offer Memorandum comes are required by each of the Offeror, the Dealer Managers, the Receiving Agent and the Information Agent to inform themselves about and to observe any such restrictions.

United States

The Offers are not being made and will not be made, directly or indirectly, in or into, or by use of the mails of, or by any means or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce of, or of any facilities of a national securities exchange of, the United States or to any U.S. Person (as defined in Regulation S of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (each, a "U.S. Person")). This includes, but is not limited to, facsimile transmission, electronic mail, telex, telephone, the internet and other forms of electronic communication. Accordingly, copies of the Tender Offer Memorandum and any other documents or materials relating to the Offers are not being, and must not be, directly or indirectly, mailed or otherwise transmitted, distributed or forwarded (including, without limitation, by custodians, nominees or trustees) in or into the United States or to a U.S. Person and the Preference Shares cannot be tendered in the Offers by any such use, means, instrumentality or facility or from or within or by persons located or resident in the United States or by any U.S. Person. Any purported tender of Preference Shares in the Offers resulting directly or indirectly from a violation of these restrictions will be invalid and any purported tender of Preference Shares made by a person located in the United States, a U.S. Person, by any person acting for the account or benefit of a U.S. Person, or by any agent, fiduciary or other intermediary acting on a non-discretionary basis for a principal giving instructions from within the United States will be invalid and will not be accepted.

Each holder of Preference Shares participating in an Offer will represent that it is not a U.S. Person, is not located in the United States and is not participating in such Offer from the United States, or it is acting on a non-discretionary basis for a principal located outside the United States that is not giving an order to participate in such Offer from the United States and who is not a U.S. Person. For the purposes of this and the above paragraph, "United States" means the United States of America, its territories and possessions (including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Wake Island and the Northern Mariana Islands), any state of the United States of America and the District of Columbia.

United Kingdom

The communication of this announcement and the Tender Offer Memorandum by the Offeror and any other documents or materials relating to the Offers is not being made, and such documents and/or materials have not been approved, by an authorised person for the purposes of section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (the "FSMA"). Accordingly, such documents and/or materials are not being distributed to, and must not be passed on to, the general public in the United Kingdom. The communication of such documents and/or materials is exempt from the restriction on financial promotions under section 21 of the FSMA on the basis that it is only directed at and may be communicated to (1) those persons who are existing members or creditors of the Offeror or other persons within Article 43(2) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, and (2) to any other persons to whom these documents and/or materials may lawfully be communicated.

France

This announcement, the Tender Offer Memorandum and any other documents or offering materials relating to the Offers may not be distributed (directly or indirectly) in the Republic of France except to qualified investors (investisseurs qualifiés) as defined in Article 2(e) of the EU Prospectus Regulation. Neither this announcement, the Tender Offer Memorandum nor any other documents or offering materials relating to the Offers have been and will not be submitted for clearance to nor approved by the Autorité des marchés financiers.

Belgium

None of this announcement, the Tender Offer Memorandum nor any other documents or materials relating to the Offers have been submitted to or will be submitted for approval or recognition to the Financial Services and Markets Authority ("Autorité des services et marches financiers / Autoriteit financiële diensten en markten") and, accordingly, the Offers may not be made in Belgium by way of a public offering, as defined in Articles 3 and 6 of the Belgian Law of 1 April 2007 on public takeover bids (the "Belgian Takeover Law") as amended or replaced from time to time. Accordingly, the Offers may not be advertised and the Offers will not be extended, and neither the Tender Offer Memorandum nor any other documents or materials relating to the Offers (including any memorandum, information circular, brochure or any similar documents) has been or shall be distributed or made available, directly or indirectly, to any person in Belgium other than (i) to persons which are "qualified investors" in the sense of Article 2 (e) of the EU Prospectus Regulation, acting on their own account; or (ii) in any other circumstances set out in Article 6, --4 of the Belgian Takeover Law . The Tender Offer Memorandum has been issued only for the personal use of the above qualified investors and exclusively for the purpose of the Offers. Accordingly, the information contained in the Tender Offer Memorandum may not be used for any other purpose or disclosed to any other person in Belgium.

Italy

Neither this announcement, the Tender Offer Memorandum nor any other documents or materials relating to the Offers have been or will be submitted to the clearance procedure of the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa ("CONSOB") pursuant to Italian laws and regulations.

The Offers are being carried out in the Republic of Italy as exempted offers pursuant to article 101-bis, paragraph 3-bis of the Legislative Decree No. 58 of 24 February 1998, as amended (the "Financial Services Act") and article 35-bis, paragraph 4 of CONSOB Regulation No. 11971 of 14 May 1999, as amended (the "Issuers' Regulation").

A Shareholder located in the Republic of Italy can tender some or all of its Preference Shares through authorised persons (such as investment firms, banks or financial intermediaries permitted to conduct such activities in the Republic of Italy in accordance with the Financial Services Act, CONSOB Regulation No. 20307 of 15 February 2018, as amended from time to time, and Legislative Decree No. 385 of 1 September, 1993, as amended) and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations or with requirements imposed by CONSOB or any other Italian authority.

Each intermediary must comply with the applicable laws and regulations concerning information duties vis-à-vis its clients in connection with the Preference Shares or the Offers.

General

Neither this announcement, the Tender Offer Memorandum nor the electronic transmission thereof constitutes an offer to buy or the solicitation of an offer to sell Preference Shares (and tenders of Preference Shares for purchase pursuant to the Offers will not be accepted from Shareholders) in any circumstances in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful. In those jurisdictions where the securities, blue sky or other laws require an Offer to be made by a licensed broker or dealer and any of the Dealer Managers or any of their affiliates is such a licensed broker or dealer in any such jurisdiction, such Offer shall be deemed to be made by such Dealer Manager or such affiliate, as the case may be, on behalf of the Offeror in such jurisdiction.

In addition to the representations referred to above in respect of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Italy, each Shareholder participating in an Offer will also be deemed to give certain other representations, warranties and undertakings and make certain agreements as set out in "Procedures for Participating in the Offers" in the Tender Offer Memorandum. will be deemed to give certain representations in respect of the other jurisdictions referred to above and generally as described in "Procedures for Participating in the Offers". Any tender of Preference Shares for purchase pursuant to the Offers from a Shareholder that is unable to make these representations will not be accepted.

Each of the Offeror, the Dealer Managers and the Information Agent reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion (and without prejudice to the relevant Shareholder's responsibility for the representations made by it), to investigate, in relation to any tender of Preference Shares for purchase pursuant to an Offer, whether any such representation given by a Shareholder is correct and, if such investigation is undertaken and as a result the Offeror determines (for any reason) that such representation is not correct, such tender or submission may be rejected.

This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.

RNS may use your IP address to confirm compliance with the terms and conditions, to analyse how you engage with the information contained in this communication, and to share such analysis on an anonymised basis with others as part of our commercial services. For further information about how RNS and the London Stock Exchange use the personal data you provide us, please see our Privacy Policy.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 10, 2021 10:53 ET (15:53 GMT)

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