Consortium will make formal bid in July

25th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

25 June 2007, AMSTERDAM (AP) - A consortium of banks led by Royal Bank of Scotland PLC will formally submit its planned EUR 71.1 billion bid for the Netherlands' ABN Amro Holding NV in mid-July, the group said Friday.

25 June 2007

AMSTERDAM (AP) - A consortium of banks led by Royal Bank of Scotland PLC will formally submit its planned EUR 71.1 billion bid for the Netherlands' ABN Amro Holding NV in mid-July, the group said Friday.

The assertion underlines the consortium's intention to proceed with its takeover attempt despite uncertainty about whether ABN Amro's earlier agreement to sell its U.S. arm, LaSalle Bank Corp. - a potential dealbreaker - will go through.

ABN Amro has already agreed to be acquired by Barclays PLC for about EUR 62.8 billion in stock. Barclays' offer is dependent on the LaSalle sale going through, while the consortium offer depends on it being unwound.

The RBS consortium said in a statement that, like its rival Barclays, it was "making good progress on regulatory change of control and antitrust filings" involving its bid for ABN.

The consortium has said it will offer EUR 38.40 per share, mostly in cash, for ABN, at least 10 percent more than Barclays' all-share offer, which is worth EUR 34.52 per share at current levels.

Either deal, if successful, would be the largest banking takeover ever.

The RBS consortium is convinced its proposed offer represents "superior value for ABN Amro shareholders and significant benefits for customers and employees," the group said.

ABN Amro shares closed at EUR 35.26 Thursday, suggesting investors are unsure which bid will prevail.

The struggle to buy ABN Amro became mired in a legal dispute after the Dutch bank unexpectedly agreed to sell LaSalle to Bank of America Corp. for US$21 billion (EUR 15.5 billion) as a precondition of the Barclays deal. That was widely seen as a poison pill measure to frustrate RBS, which also wants LaSalle.

But Amsterdam Superior Court judges blocked the sale, saying ABN Amro improperly failed to consult shareholders on a deal that would lead to a buyout of ABN.

BofA has challenged that ruling in both U.S. and Dutch courts, and the Dutch Supreme Court is expected to rule by early July.

However, the consortium appears determined to push on with its offer, and has included a reserve of EUR 1.8 billion to pay potential claims from Bank of America if the LaSalle sale is undone.

Under the consortium deal, RBS would take LaSalle and ABN's investment banking operations; Fortis NV of Belgium would take ABN's Dutch and asset management operations; and Banco Santander Central Hispano SA of Spain will buy its Italian and Brazilian arms.

The banks said Friday they will hold shareholder meetings by mid-August to approve the acquisition.

[Copyright AP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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