Sunday, July 15, 2007

Supreme Court allows LaSalle sale: RBS consortium renews bid and another court case for ABN AMRO underway

Friady the 13th turned out to bring bad luck for shareholders association VEB (making it a lucky day for ABN AMRO). The Dutch Supreme Court overturned a previous decision of the Enterprise Court (that blocked the LaSalle sale). And BNR reports that the RBS consortium is now considering to renew their bid for ABN AMRO (not counting in LaSalle).

Meanwhile the labour unions and the Personell Board of ABN AMRO ask Barclays the same committment as was given by the RBS Consortium: no forced resignations/labour cuts. But while the RBS Consortium dares give this assurance, Barclays only wishes to quickly specify its plans (refusing to give a job guarantee).

Add to this that the the Barclays payment for ABN AMRO shares will be done largely in their own shares, as opposed to the cash offer by the RBS consortum, and the picture becomes quite clear. The RBS Consortium know what they're doing and see added value to their businesses. As such they are willing to bet serious money on it and lend money in the market for this pro-active bid. Barclays is not willing to bet externally funded money on it and will mostly try to recoup its money by cost/labour savings of the new combination.

The bidding game is not to end quickly by the way; new court cases and filings are underway where shareholders, personell board ABN AMRO and labour unions will join hands to petition an investigation into the policies of ABN AMRO management and board of supervisors. So the whole bet is going to last beyond a long hot summer.