EU gives go ahead to Fortis

4th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

4 October 2007, BRUSSELS (AFP) - EU competition regulators on Wednesday provisionally approved a bid by Dutch-Belgian group Fortis for some assets of rival Dutch lender ABN AMRO, part of the world's biggest banking takeover battle.

4 October 2007

BRUSSELS (AFP) - EU competition regulators on Wednesday provisionally approved a bid by Dutch-Belgian group Fortis for some assets of rival Dutch lender ABN AMRO, part of the world's biggest banking takeover battle.

The EU green light is provisional because ABN AMRO must sell off some Dutch assets including part of its commercial banking business there.

"In light of this commitment, the Commission has concluded that the proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it," the EU's executive arm said in a statement.

The divested business is larger than Fortis' corporate banking activities in the Netherlands.

Fortis is part of a consortium, along with its partners Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Spain's Santander, vying with British bank Barclays for ABN AMRO.

Santander's and RBS's proposed acquisitions of the remaining ABN assets were authorised by the Commission on 19 September.
 
If the consortium bid is successful, it would lead to the break-up of ABN AMRO among the three banks involved.

Barclays has made a bid worth about EUR 67.5 billion, while the consortium has offered EUR 71.1 billion.

The Barclays' bid is too low compared to the consortium bid, ABN AMRO chairman Rijkman Groenink told shareholders last month.
 
Fortis welcomed the Commission's announcement saying, in a statement, that "the remedies imposed will not have any material effect on the post-acquisition planned integration of Fortis and ABN AMRO".

[Copyright AFP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news, Belgian news

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