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RBS Won't Lower ABN Amro Offer, Despite Higher Dividend

AP
Wednesday, 15 Aug 2007 | 7:20 AM ET

A consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland said Wednesday that it will not lower its 70.6 billion euros ($96.5 billion) bid for ABN Amro Holding, even though the Dutch bank's first-half dividend breached a level that RBS had said could prompt a reduction of the offer.

RBS had said in a previously published offer document that it reserved the right to cut its bid price by the excess amount if ABN Amro paid a dividend above 0.55 euros ($0.74) per share. The Dutch bank declared an interim dividend of 0.58 euros ($0.78) per share on July 30.

"The banks have determined that, despite this amount being in excess of 0.55 euros, the consideration will not be reduced in respect of such excess," RBS said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

The offer from the RBS consortium, which also comprises Dutch-Belgian bank Fortis and Spain's Banco Santander Central Hispano, is up against a competing bid from British bank Barclays worth around 61 billion euros ($82.3 billion).

Barclays on Monday received approval from the Dutch central bank and Finance Minister Wouter Bos for its proposed takeover, while the RBS consortium -- which began seeking approval a month later than Barclays -- has yet to receive a ruling.

Shareholders meet Sept. 20 to discuss the rival bids.

Royal Bank of Scotland shares dropped 3% to 555 pence ($11.13; 8.19 euros) on an overall lower London Stock Exchange. ABN Amro shares fell 1.1% to 34.03 euros ($46.25), while Fortis was down 1.4% to 26.37 euros ($35.84).

Barclays fell 2% to 624 pence ($12.52; 9.21 euros).

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