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RBS bid gets boost after Dutch court halts LaSalle sale

4th May 2007
By Julia Chan

The previously agreed sale of ABN Amro's US subsidiary LaSalle Bank to Bank of America has come to a standstill, following a ruling from the Dutch court calling for a freeze on the sale until the transaction received approval from the Dutch bank's shareholders. This comes as good news for Royal Bank of Scotland's bid for the Dutch finance group.

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The court's decision has reinforced the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)-led consortium's position in the bidding war, after it launched a E72 million bid for the takeover of the Dutch bank, which could crush the Barclays merger deal, on the condition that LaSalle remained under the control of ABN Amro.

The shareholders of the Amsterdam-based group have been reluctant to approve the sale and, with this ruling, ABN Amro is sure to face strong opposition over the proposed transaction.

However, ABN Amro may also find itself faced with a lawsuit if the transaction does not go ahead. It had been reported earlier that Bank of America would file suit against the company if the Dutch company terminated the deal. In light of the current situation, it would be no surprise if the US finance giant went ahead with its decision to sue.

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