ABN AMRO keeps neutral stance on competing bids

AMSTERDAM - ABN AMRO stuck to its neutral stance on Sunday on competing takeover bids for the Dutch bank, saying it could not support a break-up under the financially superior RBS-led consortium’s bid.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Sun 16 Sep 2007, 4:53 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:41 PM

RBS, together with Belgian-Dutch financial services group Fortis and Spain’s Santander, has offered 71 billion euros for ABN, while rival bidder Barclays has an all-share offer worth about 11 billion euros less.

ABN AMRO told shareholders in a statement that a takeover by Barclays, which does not want to split up ABN, fit with ABN’s strategy of keeping the Dutch bank in one piece.

‘ABN AMRO Boards are not in a position to support the break-up of ABN AMRO but acknowledge that the Consortium Offer ... is clearly superior for the ABN AMRO shareholders from a financial point of view, based on current valuation levels,’ ABN AMRO said.

‘Therefore, the ABN AMRO Managing Board and the ABN AMRO Supervisory Board refrain from recommending either offer for acceptance to ABN AMRO shareholders.’

ABN, the biggest bank in the Netherlands, withdrew its formal recommendation for Barclays in July but has said it still prefers the British bank’s bid over the consortium’s bid.

ABN said it would continue to talk to both Barclays and the consortium and support the takeover of ABN under both offers.

The bank said it had continued to compare the bids with a stand-alone scenario and a ‘managed break-up alternative’ but concluded that the offers were better than the alternatives, in particular due to execution risks of the alternative scenarios.

The Dutch Finance Ministry is expected to say on Monday whether it has any objection to the RBS consortium’s takeover plan. The Dutch bank will discuss the offers on Thursday with its shareholders at an extraordinary meeting.

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