Barclays has conceded defeat in the battle for Dutch bank ABN Amro and withdrawn its €61bn offer after failing to get enough shares tendered by yesterday’s closing date.
The British bank also said it is requesting payment of the €200m break-up fee which it is entitled too under the merger protocol with ABN Amro signed in April. ‘This fee will significantly exceed the costs that Barclays incurred,’ the bank’s statement said.
The decision clears the way for the consortium of three banks led by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to take over ABN Amro and divide up the banking group.
The consortium’s bid, which is worth some €9bn more than the Barclays offer, closed today.
RBS declined to comment on Barclays’ withdrawal. However, one its consortium partners, Fortis, said there would be no news from its side over the amount of shares tendered until next week.
‘Don’t expect any further communication from us today or over the weekend,’ a spokeswoman told news agency ANP. Belgian bank insurer Fortis is set to take over ABN Amro’s Benelux operations.
Dutch banking unions said they would now focus on Fortis and press for clarity on job losses – put at a likely 5,800.
The EU has ordered Fortis to divest some 10% of ABN Amro’s Dutch operations because of competition considerations.
The hard-fought battle for the Dutch bank began in February when a hedge fund said its share performance was ‘terrible’ and suggested a takeover would be a way to create shareholder value.
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