ABN Amro Neutral on Takeover Bids

The Dutch bank reportedly is set to let shareholders decide which of two competing offers to accept.
Author:
Publish date:

ABN Amro (ABN) has reportedly decided not to take a stance on competing takeover bids.

Citing people familiar with the situation,

The Wall Street Journal

reported Sunday that the company's supervisory board will take a neutral position on the bids from

Barclays

(BCS) - Get Report

and a rival consortium of banks led by Royal Bank of Scotland.

An announcement on the decision is expected Monday, when ABN is scheduled to report second-quarter earnings.

The

Journal

report said the situation was still in flux and could change.

If ABN announces it is neutral on the bids, its shareholders will make the decision on which to accept.

Both Barclays and the consortium of RBS, Fortis and

Banco Santander

(STD)

have recently revised their offers for the Dutch bank.

Last week, Barclays announced an improved $93 billion bid for ABN, offering $59 billion in shares and $34 billion in cash. It said it would pay 35.73 euros, or $49.32, for each ABN share. Originally, Barclays proposed an all-stock acquisition.

Barclays' revised offer remained below the bid of 38.40 euros, or $53.02 a share, from the RBS consortium. Two weeks ago, the consortium sweetened its bid, saying ABN shareholders could get 93% of the deal's value in cash, up from 70%.

There are too many uncertainties about the consortium's bid, however, for it to win the recommendation of ABN's board, the

Journal

report said, citing people familiar with the situation. One unknown is whether Fortis shareholders will approve the bid and the related capital-raising Fortis would need to do.

Spokespeople for ABN, Barclays and the consortium either declined comment or weren't available for comment, the

Journal

said.

ABN shares lost $1.57 Friday to close at $47.31. Barclays shares fell $1.13 to close at $54.93.