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AMSTERDAM-The biggest financial industry takeover in history just got bigger. Two days after Barclays PLC agreed to buy locally based ABN Amro Holding NV for just over $91 billion USD, another offer has been put on the table.

It ups the ante to $98.5 billion USD, a 13% increase over Barclays’ bid. The offer is from a consortium led by London-based Royal Bank of Scotland PLC, Barclay’s chief rival, and also includes Belgium-based Fortis NV and Spain’s Banco Santander Central Hispano SA.

It comes with conditions. The chief one is that Chicago-based LaSalle Bank remain within ABN Amro. The Barclays’ buyout proposal calls for the sale of LaSalle to Bank of America for $21 million. On news of the consortium’s counter offer, Charlotte, NC-based BofA issued a statement saying, “Bank of America has a legal contract to acquire ABN Amro North America Holding Company and expects that contract to be fulfilled under its current terms.”

The rival consortium also calls for additional due diligence “based on no more information than received by Barclays and Bank of America.” In a joint statement, the new bidders say they “would be able to complete this due diligence in a very short period of time.” The London-based Children’s Investment Fund, a hedge fund that owns nearly 3% of ABN stock and initially urged the bank to consider a sale or merger, has called the newest offer “compelling.”

ABN Amro confirms receipt of the new offer in a statement and says, “we are open to discussing their proposals.” A meeting, cancelled by the consortium for Monday, will now take place today.

The consortium is offering $53.26 USD per share for ABN Amro stock, versus the Barclays’ offer of approximately $49.14 USD per share. The latter represented a premium of 33% over shares of ABN Amro stock on March 16, the day negotiations began between Barclays and ABN.

The consortium proposes to pay 70% in cash and 30% in RBS shares. Its joint statement says, “The banks already have significant presence and experience in all of ABN Amro’s main markets.” They believe “the potential transaction will create stronger businesses with enhanced market positions and growth prospects in each of ABN Amro’s main markets.” Under the proposal, RBS would lead the resulting reorganization of ABN Amro.

Several financial analysts have said the consortium’s bid would likely result in a breakup of ABN Amro. According to published reports, Rijkman Groenink, ABN’s CEO, has previously stated his preference for not breaking up the organization. GSR was unable to reach Barclays by deadline, and there is no response to the counter offer on the London-based company’s new website.

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