Deadline ABN Amro-Fortis merger expires Friday

European competition commissioner Neelie Kroes has warned the Netherlands that she will not extend Friday evening’s deadline for an agreement on the sale of parts of the ABN Amro bank, reports the NRC.

‘I made this a condition for the merger between ABN Amro and Fortis two years ago. And I have been extraordinarily obliging … I recently granted the fourth or fifth extension [of the deadline] but it must be sorted out by Friday evening. At a certain point, there has to be a limit.’ Kroes is quoted by the paper as saying.
In 2007, the commissioner said she would approve the merger of the two banks if the new combination divested 10% of its activities in the small and medium business market.
Although the banks have been nationalised since then, Kroes says the problem of market domination in this sector remains.
The Dutch finance ministry will continue talks on Friday, reports the NRC. According to its sources the bank is once again close to an agreement to sell off its HBU unit to Deutsche Bank.
The Geman bank broke off negotiations two weeks ago. It is alleged that the finance ministry wanted €230m more for HBU than the Deutsche Bank was willing to pay, the paper says.
The ministry is also reported to have been in talks with BNP Paribas about the sale of two Fortis units. But these negotiations failed because BNP was busy with rounding off its €4.3bn share issue.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation