A Dutch court froze
Bank of America's
planned $21 billion acquisition of LaSalle Bank, citing that a shareholder vote is needed.
Last week, in conjunction with
agreement to sell itself to U.K. banking company Barclays for around $91 billion, the Charlotte, N.C., lender agreed to purchase its U.S. retail banking business, Chicago-based LaSalle.
However the deal has been criticized by observers, since it will not require shareholder approval for the BofA deal.
The Dutch shareholder group VEB asked Amsterdam's commercial court for an injunction against the LaSalle sale. The group argued that the deal acts as a "poison pill" making rival bids for ABN difficult, according to
To make matters more complicated, just two days after the original deal announcement, a consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland announced that it too was interested in making an offer to ABN Amro.
Royal Bank of Scotland, along with
and Fortis, offered to buy the Dutch bank for $98 billion. RBS is eager to get its hands on LaSalle.
Under the original deal, ABN Amro is allowed to entertain a higher offer for LaSalle until May 6. ABN Amro has provided a "go shop" clause, which gives BofA five business days to match a higher offer.
Yet the terms provide for a $200 million so-called termination fee payable to BofA if ABN Amro accepts another offer.
ABN Amro said in a statement on Thursday that it "notes and considers the Enterprise Chamber in Amsterdam and will study the implications of the outcome."
A BofA spokesman said the bank is "reviewing the judge's decision and we have no immediate comment."
Shares of ABN Amro rose 57 cents on the
New York Stock Exchange
to $49.60. Bank of America's stock was up 20 cents to $51.21 on Thursday.