RBS shareholders back ABN Amro bid

13th August 2007
By Julia Chan

The shareholders of Royal Bank of Scotland have overwhelmingly voted in favor of the transaction for the possible takeover of ABN Amro.

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At an extraordinary general meeting on August 10, 2007, 94.5% of the bank's shareholders officially gave their approval of the group's E71 billion bid for the Dutch lender. This marks an important step for the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)-led consortium, which also contains Fortis and Santander, as all three companies now have the backing of their shareholders.

The consortium is currently vying for the takeover of the Dutch financial services provider, with UK banking giant Barclays as its main rival.

At the meeting, Sir Tom McKillop, chairman of RBS, said: "The board is convinced that this transaction provides us with an excellent opportunity to move rapidly forward in the direction we are already traveling. For the group as a whole, we believe the acquisition of ABN Amro's businesses will enhance our growth prospects and increase our geographical and product diversity."

"The board also believes that the acquisition provides very attractive financial returns for you, our shareholders. There are significant opportunities to create financial synergies, both by saving costs and, just as importantly, by growing revenues. We estimate the total transactional benefits will amount to E1.8 billion in the third year after completion," Mr McKillop continued.

According to the Independent, RBS's shares dropped 3.9% to GBP5.62, an all-time low, while shares in Fortis and Santander also declined on the day of the extraordinary meeting.

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