RBS Chief Tells CNBC: Bid for ABN 'Superior' to Barclays Offer
The CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland told CNBC that the bank's $95.7 billion bid for Dutch Bank ABN Amro is more attractive than Barclays' rival bid because it offers a higher premium and will result in fewer lost jobs, with more market synergies.
"It's superior for the oldest reason in the book: It gives more money to the shareholders," Fred Goodwin said in an interview with CNBC's Maria Bartiromo. "It is conspicuously more valuable than the Barclays deal."
A banking consortium made up of RBS, Banco Santander and Fortis, recently raised its offer by 11% to 71.1 billion euros, or $95.7 billion, about 14% above Barclays bid, in what would be the world's largest bank takeover ever.
"I think it offers a better future for the ABN businesses themselves," he said. "The consortium members are better placed to grow these businesses going forward. The synergies that we've got are more conservative than the Barclays one and involves fewer job losses amongst existing employees."
The deal hinges upon how ABN Amro shareholders vote in regard to the company's pending sale of its U.S. unit LaSalle to Bank of America .
As part of the Barclays deal, ABN agreed to sell LaSalle to Bank of America for $21 billion, but a Dutch court later ruled that a sale required shareholder approval. Goodwin said RBS is currently not in negotiations with Bank of America.
"We have been interested in LaSalle from the outset, we expressed that interest clearly," Goodwin said. "Our offer stays the same as we initially announced, but we indicated we will not pay over one euro of it until the LaSalle matter is resolved by whatever means with Bank of America."
Goodwin noted that each member of the consortium is pulling its weight to get the deal done.
"Both Fortis and Santander are fully engaged and doing their share of the heavy lifting to make their parts of the overall equation work," Goodwin said. "None of us can do this individually; we can only do this together."
Goodwin also told CNBC that if the RBS-led consortium proves successful, it could encourage similar approaches and make such deals more common.