Ref: IMD-1-0276

Case study

Reference: IMD-1-0276

Order this case study

Deal making in troubled waters: The ABN AMBRO takeover

Didier Cossin

By Professor Didier CossinDidier Cossin and Luc Keuleneer

In a letter to ABN AMRO in February 2007, TCI, a British hedge fund with a small stake in ABN AMRO, stated: “We believe that it would be in the interests of all shareholders, other stakeholders and ABN AMRO for the Managing Board of ABN AMRO to actively pursue the potential break up, spin-off, sale or merger of its various businesses (or as a whole)…”.

Eight months later, after a head-to-head battle with Barclays, the bank was finally sold to a Royal Bank of Scotland-led consortium, which included Banco Santander of Spain and Fortis, the Belgo-Dutch group. It was the largest financial services transaction ever and the first time that bidders had attempted to break up a large lender.

This case looks at the events that led up to the takeover and examines some of the strategic decisions of the recent past which may have triggered the process. It discusses the financing and timing of the deal in the turbulent financial markets of 2007 and raises questions about the future. What were the risks of splitting the bank? Could this complex task be achieved successfully?

Learning Objective

This integrative case gives participants an overview of the different aspects of a takeover: finance and control, integrated risk management, strategy. Issues for discussion include strategic lessons for the future of banking in Europe and worldwide; strengths and weaknesses of the two bids regarding valuation, synergies, timing, deal structure, concerns regarding integration planning and implementation.
Keywords Acquisition, Banking, Banking Strategy, Finance, Financial Services, Integrated Risk Management, Leadership, Strategy, Takeover, Valuation
Settings Europe, Global
Type Published Sources
Copyright ©2008
Language English
Related material Teaching note
Order this case study

Reference: IMD-1-0276

IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre, UK Office

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Fax +44 (0)1234 751125
Email [email protected]

The Case Centre, US office

Babson College

Babson Park, Wellesley MA 02457, USA
Tel +1 781 239 5884
Fax +1 781 239 5885
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]

Copyright information

IMD retains all proprietary interests in its case studies and notes. Without prior written permission, IMD cases and notes may not be reproduced, used, translated, included in books or other publications, distributed in any form or by any means, stored in a database or in other retrieval systems. For additional copyright information related to case studies, please contact Case Services.


Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Case study

Reference: IMD-1-0276

Order this case study
Looking for something specific?

Keep reading