Foreign firms buy up Holland

Foreign companies have spent €188bn buying up Dutch firms over the past three years, the Volkskrant reports this morning. In total, 3,000 Dutch companies have been taken over, while Dutch companies themselves have bought up 1,000 foreign firms.

In particular, companies listed on the Amsterdam stock exchange’s blue chip index are up for grabs, the paper says.
Since 2004, Akzo Nobel, TNT, Philips and Shell have all sold major divisions. Ahold has just sold off US Food Service and ABN Amro wants to sell LaSalle.
Excluding ABN Amro and Ahold, the biggest Dutch companies have sold off 10% of their market value, according to research by BVDEP.
‘Firms are selling off non-core businesses under pressure from shareholders,’ researcher Mark Wessels told the paper. ‘Companies are focusing on one or two key activities.’

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