ABN Amro investors want bank to split
27 April 2007, THE HAGUE – The ABN Amro executives suffered a defeat on Thursday as the shareholders' meeting approved four motions initiated by hedge fund TCI, the Financieele Dagblad reports.
27 April 2007
THE HAGUE – The ABN Amro executives suffered a defeat on Thursday as the shareholders' meeting approved four motions initiated by hedge fund TCI, the Financieele Dagblad reports.
A case against the bank may be filed with the Enterprise Chamber of the court on Saturday.
A motion from TCI to split up ABN Amro received two-thirds of the votes. Paradoxically a motion to issue the proceeds from the splitting to shareholders was rejected by the same majority.
The shareholders did support three other proposals from TCI. This is a strong indication that they are not happy with the bank management's plans to head for a takeover by Barclays.
Director of the Dutch Investors' Association (VEB) Peter Paul de Vries said that the outcome of the meeting has "increased pressure on the bank to give parties other than Barclays better chances of a successful takeover."
The crucial point in this matter is the proposed sale of US subsidiary LaSalle to Bank of America, which ABN Amro announced on Monday. The consortium of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Fortis and Santander is only willing to officially bid on the bank for EUR 39 a share if plans to sell LaSalle are scrapped.
Immediately after the meeting De Vries announced that the VEB would request an emergency session of the Enterprise Chamber in order to block the sale of LaSalle. The VEB thinks that this decision should not have been taken without the approval of shareholders. This session could be held on Saturday.
ABN Amro CEO Rijkman Groenink dismissed the demand from the consortium during the meeting. "I have nothing to do with Mr Royal Bank of Scotland. If they want to set terms and conditions that is their problem." He pointed out that RBS and the consortium are free to try and top the price Bank of America has offered for LaSalle.
On Thursday it emerged that although ABN Amro is willing to open its books to the consortium, this will only happen on condition that the three will not bring out a hostile takeover bid on the bank in the coming three years. Barclays also agreed to this condition before being given access to the Dutch bank's accounts.
The consortium refuses to make this promise. The banks want to have the possibility to turn to the shareholders directly if they cannot reach agreement with the management of ABN Amro.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Dutch news