ABN Amro awaits court decision
3 May 2007, AMSTERDAM - The future of ABN Amro could be largely decided today with the ruling of Huub Willems, president of the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam court.
3 May 2007
AMSTERDAM - The future of ABN Amro could be largely decided today with the ruling of Huub Willems, president of the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam court.
The Dutch Investors' Association (VEB) has taken the ABN Amro management to court because it is unhappy at the decision to sell US subsidiary LaSalle. The court has been called on to pronounce a verdict on whether ABN Amro is required to consult shareholders about this proposed sale.
There are three possible verdicts this afternoon.
If the court finds that the bank's leadership does not need the shareholders' approval then Bank of America will almost certainly be the new owner of LaSalle, unless another party brings out a higher bid before Monday.
It will be somewhat of a pyrrhic victory however if the dissatisfied shareholders get their way and the sale of LaSalle is cancelled. In the event this takes place ABN Amro will be facing a claim of billions from Bank of America, which will immediately diminish the value of the bank.
The Enterprise Chamber could come with an unexpected solution however. President of the court Willems did this earlier in the year in a similar conflict involving Stork and its activist shareholders. In that case the court ordered that three new (court-appointed) members join the supervisory board to settle the conflict.
The sale of LaSalle makes ABN Amro much more attractive for Barclays. ABN has agreed to takeover by the British bank but the sale of LaSalle is part of the deal.
The consortium of Santander, Fortis and Royal Bank of Scotland, which is trying to beat out Barclays for a crack at ABN Amro, however, do not want LaSalle sold, and furthermore, unlike Barclays, they can afford to buy over ABN Amro with LaSalle.
The decision from the Enterprise Chamber is expected this afternoon.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Dutch news