After months of counteroffers, court cases and credit crises, the battle to buy Dutch banking giant ABN Amro concludes today, with a break-up of the bank. The Wall Street Journal reports that a three-bank consortium led by the Royal Bank of Scotland will almost certainly win ABN Amro shareholders' approval of the $101 billion takeover. RBS fought Barclays to the end for the prize, but some observers are wondering whether it will regret the purchase.
The squabble over the aquisition of ABN Amro, the biggest banking deal in history, began this spring, at the height of the mergers-and-acquisitions frenzy. ABN Amro will be split into three parts; when the dust settles RBS will have acquired the section of the bank hardest hit by the August credit crunch. The actual breakup should begin in April, 2008.