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A banking behemoth is born

A branch of the Dutch bank ABN Amro in Antwerp

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: It's the biggest ever banking takeover. Barclays of Britain has agreed to buy ABN Amro of the Netherlands for more than $90 billon. From London, Stephen Beard reports.


STEPHEN BEARD: If the deal goes ahead, it will create Europe's second largest bank headquartered in Amsterdam with 47 million customers around the globe.

It's not a done deal. There is a rival bidder in the wings: A consortium led by the Royal Bank of Scotland is also interested, principally because of ABN's U.S. assets.

But ABN has made it clear it wants to tie-up with Barclays. Analyst Mark Durling:

MARK DURLING: Obviously it's a shut-out deal as far as ABN and Barclays are concerned. They obviously like the deal. They like the fact the headquarters are going to be in Amsterdam. I think it's going to be very hard for the consortium to break them.

ABN and Barclays have tried to thwart the consortium by agreeing to sell ABN's U.S. bank assets to Bank of America for $21 billion.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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