London: British bank Barclays officially launched a takeover bid for Dutch peer ABN Amro worth more than $90 billion on 6 August 2007, as it looked to secure the banking sector’s biggest tie-up.
But Barclays is up against a three-bank consortium headed by Royal Bank of Scotland that has offered €71.1 billion for ABN, of which 93% would be in cash.
ABN Amro said earlier on 6 August it would hold an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on 20 September to discuss the rival offers.
Many shareholders prefer the consortium to Barclays because the trio, which also includes Dutch-Belgian group Fortis and Banco Santandar of Spain, is offering more money per share in a mainly cash bid. The Barclays proposal is largely a share swap.
Separately, in Brussels, shareholders of Fortis today approved the bid to takeover ABN Amro in the first of two votes on the subject. The takeover attempt was endorsed by 95.45% of shareholders at an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting. Some 95% of the Fortis shareholders also voted in favour of issuing new shares worth €13 billion in order to help finance the deal.
ABN Amro management had initially backed the Barclays bid but has now taken a neutral stance and recommends neither offer.
Barclays, Britain’s third largest bank, said it made its official bid for ABN Amro after receiving regulatory clearances required to publish its offer documentation.
Barclays said its offer would open on 7 August, with ABN Amro shareholders having until 4 October to accept it.