The Dutch central bank has no objections in principle if another bank takes over ABN Amro, divides up the company and sells off parts, said DNB president Nout Wellink in the Financial Times on Sunday.
It might be that a substantial bank takes over and decides to restructure, said Wellink. ‘Well, let them come to the supervisor, and we will look at it, and if it looks good there will be no problem whatsoever.’
ABN Amro has been in exclusive talks about a takeover deal with Britain’s Barclays Bank for the last three weeks, but analysts have suggested that other groups might be able to pay more if parts of ABN Amro could be divested. Wellink’s statement makes the Dutch bank a more attractive target for bidders, according to the FT.
ABN Amro is under pressure from hedge fund TCI to break up and sell off some of its parts. Wellink told a Dutch newspaper earlier that this would be ‘a bridge too far’.
ABN Amro and Barclays have agreed that if they merge, the combined bank’s headquarters will be in the Netherlands, meaning it will fall under Dutch regulation.
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