The $100 Billion Toy

It’s one step forward, two steps back for ABN Amro CEO Rijkman Groenink.

After doing a deal to sell his bank in two pieces to Bank of America and Barclays,

he’s now faced with a court

ruling saying that he’s not allowed to do that without shareholder approval

– something which he knows he can’t get.

The FT reports

that Groenink complained to the Dutch comercial court that ABN Amro had become

a “toy for hedge funds”. In response, TCI, a UK hedge fund, requested

that Groenink be fired within 24 hours.

Shareholders are being well served by the Dutch court system, it would seem

– although net-net the amount of litigation related to this case is almost

certain to skyrocket, given that Bank of America now looks set to mount a lawsuit

against ABN Amro and there’s a good chance that Barclays will too.

Right now, it seems that the $100 billion toy is likely to end up in the prams

of RBS, Santander, and Fortis. Who will be thanking the hedge funds –

for the moment. Sooner or later, however, they’re likely to run into hedge funds

themselves. Live by the law of the hedge fund…

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