Hostile consortium weighs bid for ABN
14 May 2007, AMSTERDAM (AP) - A consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland stressed Monday that its planned EUR 69.9 billion (USD 94.7 billion) offer for ABN Amro was worth more than a bid by Barclays, but the Dutch bank said legal uncertainties kept both offers frozen.
14 May 2007
AMSTERDAM (AP) - A consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland stressed Monday that its planned EUR 69.9 billion (USD 94.7 billion) offer for ABN Amro was worth more than a bid by Barclays, but the Dutch bank said legal uncertainties kept both offers frozen.
RBS and its partners said they intended to bid at least 10 percent more for ABN Amro than the EUR 62.6 billion (US$84.4 billion) friendly management-backed offer from Barclays PLC. Either would be the largest deal ever in the financial industry.
But the fight is deadlocked because of a side deal ABN Amro struck to sell its U.S. arm LaSalle Bank, to Bank of America Corp. for USD $21 billion (EUR15.5 billion) - a move widely seen as a poison pill measure to ward off RBS, which also wants LaSalle.
The banks said they were still considering making a formal offer, conditional "on LaSalle remaining in the ABN Amro group."
A Dutch court has blocked the LaSalle sale, rebuking ABN's management for not seeking shareholder approval first. Bank of America then sued in New York, arguing that it had a binding deal regardless of what Dutch courts say or ABN shareholders want.
The RBS-led banks said they would update the market on their plans by May 27. The first hearing in the Bank of America case is June 15.
ABN Amro, meanwhile, said Monday it has been unable to schedule a shareholders' meeting to discuss the bids, and blamed the Amsterdam Superior Court's ruling.
The ruling "created ambiguity for shareholders and has led to Bank of America filing a lawsuit against ABN Amro in the U.S. courts," the bank said in a statement.
Asked whether it wasn't ABN Amro's management that created the uncertainty by signing an agreement it wasn't empowered to sign, spokesman Piers Townsend declined to comment. ABN's lawyers were "working as quickly as they can to get an appeal filed in an expeditious fashion," he said.
[Copyright AP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news