Skip to main content

Barclays Categorically Refuses To Bring More To The Table

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Barclays formally launched its 65 billion euro ($89 billion) bid for ABN Amro today. The British bank offered 2.13 ordinary shares and 13.15 euros per share for each ordinary share of the Amsterdam-based bank, the soaring eagles said in a statement today, and the acceptance period runs from tomorrow until October 4. The bid, as the ABN Amro aficionados in the audience well know, is part of Barclays’ attempt to beat a takeover by a Royal Bank of Scotland-captained team of RBS, Banco Santander SA, and Fortis (who just this morning won initial shareholder approval for the deal).
Let’s discuss that rival proposition for a second. The consortium is offering 71 billion euros (of which about 93% is in cash) to Barclays’ 65. I’ll say it again, for the Rain Men in the group—71 versus 65. On July 30, ABN withdrew its recommendation for the Barclays bid, rocket-scientifically noting that it’s inferior to the Royal Bank’s offer. But the very next day, its chief executive, Rijkman Groenink, said “We continue to support the Barclays offer because we believe overall it is to the benefit of shareholders and stakeholders,” and noted that the Dutch bank would probably formally recommend it to shareholders later. They like Barclays, they want Barclays, they just want more money from Barclays, or at least something on par with what the Royal Bank is offering. I get that, you get that, why doesn’t Barclays, who just came up with an offer of 65 billion euros (not >71 billion euros) get that? They’ve been told by ABN Amro, “We prefer you, just bring up those numbers and we’ll endorse it,” but for some reason are all “Nah. We’re good.” They’ve been told “71” and they’re saying “No. 65.”
Maybe it’s because it’s Monday, maybe it’s because some of us have a gaping hole in our foot from stepping on the prong of an errant belt buckle Sunday morning, but I’m flat-out asking you to either confirm that this is a matter of Barclays not getting the embarrassingly overt message or me not getting what the hell is going on ("they're playing hardball" is not an acceptable answer unless you elaborate, btw). You were already planning on trying to correct/humiliate me in the comments section for failing to understand the inner-workings of this deal (other than the SS implications), or for an improperly-placed apostrophe,* anyway, and now you have my blessing.
Earlier: ABN Amro Playing Horrible Game of Hard-To-Get With Barclays
Barclays launches $89 bln ABN takeover offer [Reuters]
Barclays Makes Formal Offer to Investors for ABN Amro [Bloomberg]
Fortis shareholders give initial OK to ABN deal [MarketWatch]