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Brussels backs ABN Amro takeover by Santander, RBS

19 September 2007

BRUSSELS – DPA – European Union regulators approved Wednesday the proposed acquisition of Dutch bank ABN Amro by the Royal Bank of Scotland and Spain’s Santander, in what could be one of the biggest banking deals in EU history.

Regulators “concluded that both operations would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it,” a press release from the EU’s executive, the European Commission (EC), announced.

In April 2007, three banks – RBS, Santander and Belgian bank Fortis – announced that they had formed a consortium which intended to buy ABN and share its global assets.

The potential deal is reported to be worth up to 71 billion euros (98.5 billion dollars).

But it is not the only takeover proposal to involve ABN currently on the table. Also in April, British bank Barclays announced that it had made an offer on a similar scale for the Dutch bank.

On August 6, the EC ruled that the takeover of ABN by Barclays would not hamper competition in the EU’s banking sector.

The deal proposed by the three banks would see Santander taking control, among others, of ABN’s Latin American business unit and its Italian subsidiary, Bank Antonveneta, while RBS would take ABN’s North American and European business units, the EC release said.

However, the EC would not comment on the proposed tie-up between Fortis and the remaining units of ABN. It is still considering that deal, with a decision expected by October 3.

[Copyright DPA with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news