The president of Barclays Bank, Mr Bob Diamond, conceded yesterday that the rival offer for ABN Amro from the consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland will probably beat theirs if the RBS group sticks with its €70 billion (£48 billion) bid. The value of Barclays’ predominantly share-based offer has fallen below the rival bid in recent weeks as the group’s share price has lost value amid turbulent credit markets.
Mr Diamond’s comments were the first public admission that Barclays was likely to lose the battle for ABN. Barclays is competing with RBS and its two partners to win control of the Dutch bank in what would be the biggest banking takeover to date. Mr Diamond said: “The bad news is if the consortium still wants to pay that price, if it’s comfortable with the risks on the balance sheet during the turmoil, if they can raise that money in the market and if the regulators are going to allow ... this kind of complex transaction, then that price will probably beat ours.”
Shares of Barclays leapt 24½p after Mr Diamond said that Barclays Capital, the division behind several investment vehicles hit hard by the credit crunch, still managed to post a profit in August. The shares later lost the gains to close down 2½p to 580p. (source: Timesonline)