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Dutch Supreme Court to Rule on ABN's LaSalle

The Dutch Supreme Court will issue its ruling on ABN Amro's suspended sale of U.S. subsidiary LaSalle on Friday, July 13, at 10 am Amsterdam time, the court said on Tuesday.

A commercial court in Amsterdam froze ABN's agreed deal to sell LaSalle to Bank of America for $21 billion in May, a ruling that is now being appealed before the Supreme Court by ABN.

The court ruled that ABN would have to seek shareholder approval for the LaSalle sale, which could sway the acrimonious takeover battle for ABN between Barclays against a consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland.

Two weeks ago, Advocate General Vino Timmerman, tasked with providing Supreme Court judges with an opinion ahead of their ruling, said that ABN did not need shareholder approval for the LaSalle sale.

The Barclays deal is conditional on LaSalle being sold, while RBS said it will buy ABN only if LaSalle is still part of the bank.

The Supreme Court could unfreeze the LaSalle deal, which would boost Barclays chance of success and possibly force the consortium to make a bid for ABN without LaSalle.

The court could uphold the commercial court ruling, which would boost the consortium's chances but potentially prolong legal wrangling.

Thirdly, the Supreme Court could send the case back to the commercial court, which would prolong uncertainty over the deal.

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