LONDON - HSBC Holdings PLC, owner of Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp., said it had won control of Midland Bank PLC, with holders of 63.58% of Midland's share capital accepting the HSBC bid.

It said that the final level of acceptances would be announced today and that HSBC would declare the merger unconditional in all respects on July 10.

It said dealings on the London Stock Exchange in the new HSBC Holdings shares would commence on that day.

Biggest in British History

The merger will create one of the world's 10 biggest banks, according to a Midland spokesman, with combined assets of more than $272 billion.

The $7.3 billion deal was the biggest in British banking history, giving HSBC entry into the lucrative U.K. retail market.

HSBC's victory was almost a foregone conclusion when rival bidder Lloyds Bank PLC withdrew its $6.85 billion proposed offer for Midland on June 5.

Lloyds dropped out of the running when it became apparent that the price it would have to pay would not justify an acceptable return to shareholders.

The HSBC-Midland combination will be a formidable player but bankers are not bracing for an onslaught of competition.

"It would have been far more threatening had Midland fallen into the hands of Lloyds," said a senior executive at one of Britain's leading banks.

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