Three new homo-binuclear Ni(II), Cu(II), Zn(II) complexes (2-4), homo-tetranuclear Cu(II) complex (5), and hetero-tetranuclear Cu(II)-Ni(II) complex (6) of a macroacyclic potentially bis-hexadentate N2O4 Schiff base have been synthesized. The imino-alcohol ligand, H4L was obtained by the condensation of ethanolamine with 2,2'-[2,3-bis(1-formyl-2-naphthyloxymethyl)-but-2-ene-1,4-diyldioxy]bis(naphthalene-1-carbaldehyde). The structures of both the Schiff base and its complexes have been proposed by elemental analyses, spectroscopic data i.e. IR, H-1 and C-13 NMR, UV-vis, electrospray ionisation mass spectra, molar conductivities and magnetic susceptibility measurements. The ligand has two similar compartments to bind first primary two metal ions, and acts bi- or tetra-negative, bis-tetradentate forming five membered chelate ring. However, secondary two metal ions (either Cu2+ or Ni2+.) are ligated with dianionic oxygen atoms of the alcohol groups and are linked to the 1,10-phenanthroline-nitrogen atoms in the tetranuclear complexes (5 and 6). (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.