The Dutch Supreme Court ruled on Friday that takeover target ABN AMRO can go ahead with its $21 billion sale of U.S. subsidiary LaSalle to Bank of America, clearing a key hurdle for suitor Barclays.
The Court said there were “no grounds” to block the sale, overturning a lower court ruling that said ABN Amro should have asked shareholders to approve its $21 billion disposal of Chicago-based LaSalle to Bank of America Corp. The decision removes an obstacle to Barclays’s agreement to buy the rest of Amsterdam-based ABN Amro in the biggest banking takeover.
Acquiring ABN Amro would make Barclays the world’s No. 6 bank by assets and give Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America the largest branch network in the state of Michigan. While the decision is a setback for a group led by Edinburgh-based Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, which offered 70.9 billion euros for ABN Amro, investors and analysts expect a new bid.