Firms celebrate completion of RBS-ABN

The Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) €71bn acquisition of Dutch bank ABN Amro has been declared unconditional, making history with one of the largest ever bank takeovers.

The RBS consortium, consisting of Belgo Dutch Fortis Bank and Spanish Banco Santander, beat Barclays, which made its original £80bn bid for the bank in March this year.

ABN Amro instructed Allen & Overy, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Nauta Dutilh when Barclays launched the bid earlier this year.

Linklaters and De Brauw Blackstone & Westbroek won the role as lead advisers for the RBS consortium. Longstanding advisers Clifford Chance and US firm Sullivan & Cromwell were instructed to advise Barclays.

Lead partner at De Brauw, Kees Peijster, commented: “Fortis is a new client for us. We were invited to Brussels to meet with the consortium and did not have to complete a formal pitching process. The relationship is young, we have been working with Fortis for just seven months but we are confident this relationship will continue.”

The three-bank consortium also instructed Slaughter and May, Uria Menendez and Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Shearman & Sterling also picked up a mandate advising RBS on US aspects of law.