Amsterdam court to rule on LaSalle sale

Amsterdam’s company court will today rule on ABN Amro’s planned sale of US bank LaSalle. The case was brought by the Dutch investors lobby group VEB, which argues the sale should have been put to shareholders and that it is a poisoned pill to thwart a bid for ABN Amro by a banking consortium.

If the court rules in the VEB’s favour, the way will be opened for the consortium, led by Royal Bank of Scotland, to make a rival bid for the Dutch bank. ABN Amro has already agreed to merge with Barclays.
According to company law, shareholders only need to be consulted if the divestment is higher than one third of total assets, ANP reports. The $21bn that Bank of America is paying for LaSalle is only 1.6% of ABN Amro’s total worth of €987bn.
However, the law also allows for ‘softer’ arguments, such as whether the sale changes the identity of a company, ANP said.
The ruling is set to be made public at 4pm.

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