TCI's Dutch bank break-up has city support

27 February 2007

The Children's Investment Fund's (TCI) plan to break up ABN Amro to improve its share performance is supported by "four or five other shareholders" according to a Dutch newspaper.

ABN Amro CEO Rijkman Groenik told the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad that an unspecified number of other investors have purchased one per cent stakes in the company gives a clear signal that TCI's plan has significant support.

However, since TCI, who own a one per cent stake in ABN Amro, proposed the break-up, the Dutch Central Bank, who have the legal right to deny permission to hedge funds wishing to buy over ten per cent of a Dutch bank, has expressed disquiet over the scheme.

Commenting on the developments, Nout Wellink, the chairman of the Dutch Central Bank, told NRC Handelsblad that: "TCI's letter implies, 'you work out what you are going to sell, but send the proceeds to us'. For us, that is a bridge too far."

TCI's moves to break up ABN follow their winning campaign to prevent a takeover of the London Stock Exchange by Deutsche Boerse in 2005.

As yet ABN Amro have not responded to TCI's overtures.

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