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Take that, Barclays

Stephen Beard May 29, 2007

TEXT OF STORYLISA NAPOLI: And now from the latest in the ongoing saga of ABN Amro: Today, a consortium of banks led by the Royal Bank of Scotland plunked down more than $95 billion to wrest away ABN from another bidder, Barclays. From London, Stephen Beard says this isn’t just some boring old bank deal.

STEPHEN BEARD: The consortium has offered $95.5 billion for ABN Amro, most of it in cash.

That’s 10 percent more than the Barclays bid. No contest then, the consortium has won, right?

Well not quite. This is one of the most convoluted takeovers in recent history. Practically anything could happen next.

The ABN board wants to be acquired by Barclays and in order to ward off the consortium agreed to sell its main American asset to a third party. That decision is now the subject a $5 billion lawsuit.

And there’s an added complication, says Mark Durling of stockbroker Brewin Dolphin: Shareholders in the consortium are getting nervous.

MARK DURLING: You know you’re looking at large lawsuits and that causes uncertainty. Investors don’t like that, and so the shareholders obviously are getting quite concerned.

Those shareholders are also worried that the consortium may be overpaying for ABN Amro.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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