A Dutch court has blocked the sale of ABN Amro's LaSalle Bank, throwing Amro's proposed merger with Barclays into jeopardy. The move—which the court says is intended to protect shareholder interests—could spark a new bidding war over the Dutch bank, whose $87.5 billion proposed merger with Barclays has been slammed by shareholders as a lowball deal.
Amro can't finance its end of the deal without the LaSalle sale, and analysts say that opens the door for a lurking consortium led by the Royal Bank of Scotland to swoop in. After the ruling, "it is much more likely that Royal Bank will win the day," says one analyst. The offer could come in as early as tomorrow, Bloomberg reports.