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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The world’s biggest-ever bank takeover is in doubt this morning. The Dutch bank ABN and Britain’s Barclays agreed on a $91 billion merger over the weekend. That’s been challenged by a rival bid. The deal now hinges on what happens to ABN’s American banking unit. In London, Stephen Beard has been following the twists and turns of this story.
STEPHEN BEARD: The Barclays and ABN Amro boards had struck a deal. But a rival bidder, a consortium of banks, is trying to break up the party.
The consortium has just made a higher offer for ABN, 13% higher and most of it in cash.
The ABN board has tried to block the consortium by selling one of its most attractive assets, its US division, to Bank of America.
Lawyers say ABN doesn’t need its shareholders to approve this spoiling tactic, but analyst Mark Durling thinks ABN shareholders just won’t stand for it.
MARK DURLING: There’s going to be a revolt from ABN shareholders. They are in charge of getting the best deal for their shareholders. And that certainly wouldn’t be the case if they went ahead and sold that particular part of the business.
The ABN board should get an indication of how some of their shareholders feel tomorrow when they hold their annual meeting in the Netherlands.
In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.
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