Finance minister Wouter Bos has given his approval to the consortium bid to take over ABN Amro. ‘This is an important step towards the completion of the banks’ offer for ABN Amro,’ the group of three banks said in a statement. Bos earlier gave his approval to the rival bid by Barclays.
ANP news agency reports that Bos has set a number of conditions for the takeover. The most important is that he be allowed to monitor the consortium’s plan to split up ABN Amro to ensure it is ‘responsible’.
He also reserves the right to withdraw his approval if developments on the financial markets means that that the financing is not responsible. The consortium has until December 31 to declare its bid successful.
The consortium, led by Royal Bank of Scotland, says it will come with a detailed plan within two months and that this must be approved by the Dutch central bank. In their statement, the three banks said they were convinced they could meet all the demands and conditions set by Bos.
The take-over of ABN Amro is set to be one of the biggest ever deals in financial services history. The consortium is offering a largely cash deal worth over €71bn. Barclay’s offer is 60% share-based and worth some €58bn by current prices.
ABN Amro’s board has not endorsed either offer, but chairman Rijkman Groenink has said the Barclays deal fits better with ABN Amro’s strategy.
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