MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: A judge in Amsterdam has stepped into the takeover fight for the Dutch bank ABN Amro. It’s the latest twist in a complicated and melodramatic struggle, as Stephen Beard reports from London.
STEPHEN BEARD: The players in this incredibly complicated story, there are five of them: ABN Amro, its American subsidiary La Salle, the British bank Barclays, a rival banking consortium and Bank of America.
OK, the story begins with ABN agreeing to be taken over by Barclays. Then the consortium pops up with a rival bid. They’re mainly interested in getting their hands on ABN’s U.S. subsidiary, LaSalle.
In order to thwart that consortium’s bid, though, the ABN board agrees to sell LaSalle to Bank of America.
Now, ABN’s shareholders rebel. They like the consortium’s bid for ABN because it’s worth more and much of it’s in cash.
So the ABN shareholders take the board to court in the Netherlands, and the court has just blocked the sale of LaSalle to Bank of America.
What happens next? Who knows…
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