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October 8, 2007

Barclays refutes takeover rumours

by Gill Montia

Story link: Barclays refutes takeover rumours

Having conceded defeat in its bid for ABN Amro, the Dutch bank, Barclays has dismissed suggestions that it could itself now be a takeover target.

Barclays withdrew its offer for ABN when it received acceptances in respect of 5.2 million shares, representing under 0.3% of the business.

A rival consortium comprising Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Banco Santander and Fortis is reported to have received acceptances from over 85% of ABN shareholders and is likely to be the victor in the takeover battle, which as lasted seven months. Confirmation is expected at the beginning of this week.

With regard to the future of Barclays, experts in the banking sector have drawn comparisons with the fate of Bank of Scotland, which was acquired by Halifax within a year of losing its bid for NatWest.

However, John Varley, chief executive of Barclays, believes that shareholders are both satisfied with and confident in the business, and see the future of Barclays as independent.

Mr Varley has also expressed the view that the RBS consortium is overpaying for ABN; the Barclays’ offer was mainly share based whereas the consortium’s is largely cash-based.

Barclays is now requesting a €200 million break fee from ABN, which will cover fees due to investment bank advisers and others.

 

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