Nationalized Dutch Bank Prices IPO

Bailed out by the Netherlands with 22 billion euros in 2008, ABN Amro is going back to the public markets.
Katie Kuehner-HebertNovember 10, 2015

Seven years after the Dutch government bailed out ABN Amro (formerly known as Fortis), the bank is returning to markets at a premium.

The government is selling a 23% stake in the nationalized lender at between 16 euros and 20 euros a share. At the high end, that would value the bank at more than 18.8 billion euros, according to the press release.

Company spokesman Jeroen van Maarschalkerweerd told Bloomberg that ABN Amro’s tangible book value at the end of September was 15.8 billion euros, which indicates that ABN Amro may start trading at about 1.2 times book value compared with an average book value of 1.1 for the 46-member firms tracked by STOXX Europe 600 Banks Index.

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The Netherlands government, which spent 22 billion euros to bail out the bank following the 2008 financial crisis, is seeking to recoup as much as 4.3 billion euros ($4.6 billion) in the first of a series of stake sales. The shares are set to begin trading in Amsterdam on Nov. 20 under the symbol ABN.

“We’re going to sell it as good as possible with the best possible proceeds,” Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem told reporters in Brussels on Tuesday. “In the next couple of years we will be busy selling tranches.”

ABN Amro reported a net profit of 509 million euros for the third quarter, an increase of 13% compared with the same period in 2014, according to the press release.

The deal stands to be Europe’s largest banking IPO since Russia’s VTB Bank raised 6 billion euros more than eight years ago, according to Bloomberg.

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