Barclays may increase bid on ABN Amro

19th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

19 July 2007, AMSTERDAM (AP) - Barclays PLC said Thursday it is considering altering its all-share offer for ABN Amro Holding NV in order to remain competitive with a higher rival offer from a consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland PLC.

19 July 2007

AMSTERDAM (AP) - Barclays PLC said Thursday it is considering altering its all-share offer for ABN Amro Holding NV in order to remain competitive with a higher rival offer from a consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland PLC.

The RBS group intends to bid EUR 71.1 billion, mostly in cash, for the Dutch bank, in the largest takeover battle in the history of the financial industry.

Barclays' current proposed bid, all in shares, is worth at least 10 percent less. Barclays said Thursday that it is considering "possible alternative...offer structures, including (the) introduction of a partial cash consideration."

Under pressure from shareholders not to overbid for ABN, Barclays hastened to add that if it were to raise its offer, it wouldn't be by very much.

"If any changes to Barclays' offer were made they would be consistent with ... the strict financial criteria it applies to merger and acquisition transactions."

Analysts say that Barclays can't hope to win a battle with RBS and its partners Fortis NV of Belgium and Banco Santander Central Hispano SA on purely financial terms. Barclays Chief Executive John Varley has said that while his bank's offer may be lower, it will offer a better long-term return to shareholders.

Until recently, Barclays had the advantage that its offer was agreed with ABN's management. But ABN said Wednesday that in light of RBS's proposed higher bid - which shareholders are almost certain to prefer - it was now negotiating with both parties.

On Thursday, Barclays said Dutch financial authorities granted it an extension to 6 August to file its formal offer. The RBS consortium is currently due to file on 23 July, though that may also be postponed.

[Copyright AP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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