Court to Rule on ABN's LaSalle Sale: Financial Times

A Dutch court will rule on Thursday whether to uphold a shareholder petition to halt the sale by ABN Amro of LaSalle, its US lender, a move that would throw wide open the increasingly acrimonious battle for the Dutch lender, the Financial Times reported.

Such a decision could leave ABN open to a damages claim from Bank of America Corporation, to which it has agreed to sell LaSalle for $21 billion unless there is a higher offer by midnight Friday that BoA is unwilling to match, the newspaper said.

According to the FT Hans de Savornin Lohman, counsel for BoA, told the Dutch enterprise chamber, which met in special session on Saturday: "If the deal falls apart BofA would be compelled to file a substantial claim against ABN Amro in the court in New York." "If the contract was not agreed that would be a default by ABN, and if that were the case ABN would owe damages with respect to Bank of America. If there was no transaction then the amount of [potential] damages cannot be over-stated," he said.