Barclays is considering improving its offer for ABN Amro to include a cash component, the Financial Times reports on Wednesday. Another option under consideration is transferring the proceeds of the $21bn LaSalle sale to shareholders, the paper says.
Under the headline ‘Barclays prepares for all-out ABN battle’, the paper says Barclays realises it must improve its €65bn offer in order to head off the consortium of three banks, which has come up with a largely cash deal totalling €71bn.
At the same time, Barclays has launched a charm offensive to win Amsterdam city council support for its takeover plans, the Financieele Dagblad says.
The British bank is thinking of establishing a sort of ‘Harvard on the Amstel’ – a top institute for 1,000 students – in the Dutch capital, the paper says. The city council has already said it wanted to develop a similar concept.
Meanwhile, the Volkskrant reports that 111 bank branches – 16% of the total – will close if the consortium bid succeeds and Fortis takes over ABN Amro’s Dutch operations. It says Fortis has decided that the combined branches must be at least 500 metres apart.
In Fortis’ plans ABN Amro’s multinational clients will be taken over by consortium partner Royal Bank of Scotland.
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