Barclays May Include Cash in ABN Offer

British bank Barclays said on Thursday it might change its agreed offer for ABN Amro and possibly include some cash, as it battles a higher bid from a consortium of three major European banks.

Barclays, whose all-share bid for Dutch group ABN is currently worth about 65 billion euros ($89.7 billion), also said it had been given an extension by the Dutch markets regulator until Aug. 6 to launch its formal offer.

"Barclays is considering possible alternative offer structures, including introduction of a partial cash consideration element into the offer," Britain's third-biggest bank said in a statement.

"No decision has yet been taken but Barclays will make further announcements as, if and when due under applicable rules and regulations."

Barclays was dealt a blow on Monday when a consortium of banks led by the Royal Bank of Scotland sweetened its 71 billion-euro bid for ABN Amro.

The consortium, which also includes Spain's Santander and Belgian-Dutch group Fortis, kept its offer at 38.4 euros per share, around 10% above Barclays all-share bid of about 35 euros per share, but raised the cash component to 93%, or 35.6 euros, from 79% before.

Any deal for ABN would be the world's biggest bank takeover.

"If any changes to Barclays' offer were made they would be consistent with its prior public statements regarding the strict financial criteria it applies to merger and acquisition transactions and ensuring that the terms of any transaction are in the interests of its existing shareholders," Barclays said.

It added that the regulatory review processes relating to its offer for ABN Amro were not yet complete and so the Dutch markets regulator had agreed to extend the deadline on launching its formal offer to Aug. 6, from July 23 previously.