Bos approves Barclays bid for ABN
14 August 2007, THE HAGUE (AFP) - Dutch Finance Minister Wouter Bos on Monday approved a proposed takeover by British bank Barclays of Dutch bank ABN AMRO.
14 August 2007
THE HAGUE (AFP) - Dutch Finance Minister Wouter Bos on Monday approved a proposed takeover by British bank Barclays of Dutch bank ABN AMRO.
Bos issued a so-called declaration of no-objection, which is a necessary hurdle for any takeover candidates for ABN AMRO, but imposed minor conditions seen as posing no difficulty to Barclays.
A three-bank consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland is also vying to buy ABN AMRO and has also asked for a declaration.
The finance minister has not yet issued a decision in their case.
"With the current decision the minister has not shown a preference for a specific party," the ministry underlined in a statement.
Dutch law requires the government to issue a declaration of no-objection for acquisitions of Dutch banks.
The conditions imposed by Bos are that Barclays provides a detailed integration plan to the Dutch central bank if it succeeds with its takeover bid and that further details are then provided every month.
It must also avoid making any major changes to the structure of ABN AMRO without notifying the central bank of them in advance.
The Dutch central bank and the European Commission, the EU's top competition watchdog, have also approved the proposed takeover by Barclays.
Barclays chief executive John Varley, in a statement received in London, said that the British group would have no problem in meeting the demands.
Barclays has bid EUR 64.2 billion for ABN AMRO, while the consortium has offered EUR 71.1 billion.
Many ABN AMRO shareholders prefer the consortium bid to the one by Barclays because the trio is offering more money per share in a mainly cash bid. The Barclays proposal is largely a share swap.
ABN AMRO's management, which had initially backed the Barclays bid but now recommends neither offer, said last week it would hold an extraordinary shareholders' meeting on 20 September to discuss the rival bids.
[Copyright AFP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news