Barclays Plc Withdraws Offer For ABN, Asks, “Why Be Gracious In Defeat When It’s So Much More Satisfying To Be A Dick?”

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Barclays gave up its six-month battle to buy ABN Amro Holdings NV today after too few investors agreed to back the bid. The withdrawal clears the way and more or less rolls out a red carpet for Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, with Banco Santander and Fortis, to complete the biggest banking takeover ever. Barclays, which bid documents show had been working on creating the world’s sixth biggest bank for several years, is apparently unconcerned about being a potential target itself. Chief Executive Officer John Varley claimed to have full “confidence” in “an independent future” for the company.
And since no one posed an actual question regarding the difference in size between the two bids at the increasingly irrelevant—as far as the ABN Amro deal goes—British bank, Varley asked (and answered) one himself: "Do I think they've overpaid? My answer to that is yes. It is impossible to think that ABN has not been affected in terms of intrinsic value. The explicit purpose of us having a share-based offer was to ensure that we did not overpay...We were not prepared to purse victory at any price." And when you put it like that, it’s *almost* as though they *were* victorious, isn’t it? (Of course, analysts said Varley’s comment might have bit a “little revisionist,” considering that Barclays, you know, was never actually able to get the cash together in order to take on the consortium’s offer but whatever--details. Let him have this one thing.)
Barclays boss says RBS has overpaid for ABN [Telegraph]

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