A consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland launched a 71.1 billion euro ($95.7 billion) bid for Dutch group ABN AMRO, trumping Britain's Barclays in a battle for the world's biggest bank takeover.
A consortium of banks led by Royal Bank of Scotland will decide by May 29 whether it will make an official bid for the Netherlands' ABN Amro, it said in a statement Friday.
Barclays, which has agreed to buy Dutch rival ABN Amro in the biggest ever bank takeover, said on Thursday it had made a strong start to 2007 and it had seen 'good growth' in U.K. retail bank profit.
Shares of Barclays fell Thursday, as uncertainty about the outcome of its deal to acquire Dutch rival ABN Amro overshadowed an upbeat trading statement.
A consortium led by the Royal Bank of Scotland seeking to buy ABN Amro is keeping all options open on a possible offer and will clarify its position on Sunday, consortium member Fortis's chairman said.
British bank Barclays said on Monday it was not discussing selling any major assets in ABN Amro as part of its takeover proposal, after a newspaper said it may sell ABN's Brazilian business.
Italy's UniCredit has agreed to buy smaller rival Capitalia for more than $29 billion in shares to create Europe's second biggest bank, with branches stretching from Sicily to Eastern Europe.
A Royal Bank of Scotland-led consortium said it had secured financing for its proposed takeover of Dutch bank ABN Amro and said its plan had lower risk and not significantly more job cuts than a rival offer.
Barclays President Robert Diamond told CNBC's "Squawk Box" his company has no plans to add a cash component to its $88 billion takeover offer for Dutch bank ABN Amro.
ABN Amro rejected a $24.5 billion offer for its U.S. bank LaSalle from a consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland on Monday, but said it would put the offer and other proposals to a shareholder vote.
Royal Bank of Scotland and its partners have made an indicative offer worth $24.5 billion for ABN Amro's U.S. arm LaSalle Bank, conditional on them also buying the rest of ABN, sources familiar with the matter said on Saturday.
Bank of America sued Dutch bank ABN Amro over the No. 2 U.S. bank's agreement to buy ABN's U.S. unit, LaSalle, seeking an injunction barring the unit's sale to any other party.
A Royal Bank of Scotland led group is likely to proceed with a conditional bid for ABN AMRO's U.S. bank LaSalle by Sunday despite a Dutch court blocking the sale process of the unit, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Chests are being bared, knuckles cracked and muscles flexed. What we have here is the making of a good old fashioned punch up. In the red corner, Barclay’s bank and Bank of America, and in the blue corner, the challengers: RBS, Santander and Fortis. Although the prize, ABN Amro, ought to be neutral-- to maximize shareholder returns -- management has given the nod to Barclays.
Executives at Citigroup say activist hedge funds may step up pressure to break up the company, the Financial Times reported.
Three banks led by Royal Bank of Scotland said on Friday they were ready to make an unsolicited offer for ABN Amro. In addition the Dutch bank faces a court hearing regarding the sale of U.S. unit La Salle.
ABN Amro Holding has been called to a hearing at the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal tomorrow in a case brought by the Dutch shareholders' association VEB, which is demanding an investigation into the policy making process at the bank, which is the Netherlands' largest.
A trio of banks seeking to buy ABN Amro said on Thursday the Dutch bank was setting unreasonable conditions on opening its books, increasing the chance they could launch a hostile bid.
Stocks are set to move higher at the opening, with the Dow heading straight for the 13,000 mark. European shares are higher, as the rising euro closes in on its all-time high against the dollar. Overnight, Asian stocks were lower, with Tokyo stocks falling on worries about the U.S. consumer after yesterday's weak housing data and consumer confidence number. Japanese automakers' shares were dented in the selling.
Stocks closed lower as cautious comments from GM and Pfizer snapped the Dow's seven-day winning streak. "We've seen a really good move in the market and a little consolidation is healthy," said Bill Nichols, managing director of equity trading for Bear Stearns. "After being higher so much, a little profit-taking is only natural."