BNP Paribas executives instructed the Dutch authorities that the French financial institution could be excited by shopping for state-owned lender ABN Amro, in accordance with individuals conversant in the matter.
A mix of France’s largest financial institution by market capitalisation and the third largest within the Netherlands could be the primary main cross-border deal in a long-heralded wave of consolidation throughout Europe’s fragmented banking sector.
A gathering between BNP executives and Dutch authorities officers happened in latest months, with the French financial institution initially pitching its providers as an adviser on stakes of state property, in accordance with individuals with data of the talks. But through the assembly, the BNP representatives urged they might be excited by shopping for ABN themselves.
The dialogue didn’t set off detailed talks, in accordance with an individual briefed on the matter.
Shares in ABN — which is 57 per cent owned by the federal government — initially jumped 17 per cent after information of the strategy was reported by Bloomberg on Friday lunchtime, earlier than paring positive aspects. BNP shares rose 2 per cent.
BNP final 12 months agreed to promote its San Francisco-based Bank of the West retail banking unit for $16.3bn, elevating expectations that it will use the funds as a battle chest and leap on alternatives for acquisitions in Europe.
The Paris-based lender has expanded via purchases previously, together with a €9bn swoop on Italy’s BNL in 2006, and a €14.5bn deal for Fortis’ companies in Belgium and Luxembourg in 2009. It has sought to develop organically as a pan-European group too, by beefing up in company and client lending and funding banking.
BNP and ABN declined to touch upon the strategy.
Dutch finance minister Sigrid Kaag stated: “The government has said from the outset we are willing to consider a sale. But given the stock market-sensitive information and the privacy and confidentiality of the information that is associated with such a sale we will never comment.”
ABN continues to be majority owned by the Dutch authorities after it was bailed out through the monetary disaster. The state has not offered any shares since September 2017 and Robert Swaak was introduced in as chief govt two years in the past and tasked with restarting privatisation of the financial institution.