The initial public offering (IPO) of bank ABN Amro has raised €3.3 billion ($3.5 billion) for the Dutch government, as 20% of ABN Amros’ market capitalisation was listed in Europe’s bank IPO since the financial crisis (1).
The shares were priced at €17.75, valuing the company at €16.7bn. The Dutch government is looking to recoup as much as possible of the €22bn spent nationalising the bank in 2008 (1). The remainder of the bank will be sold in tranches.
The IPO comes in the form of certificates, each representing one share, as the Dutch government wants to put safeguards in place to resist the kind of industry consolidation that led to ABN Amro becoming too big to fail. The actual shares are held through a foundation, which can seize the voting rights of certificate holders (2).
ABN Amro is a remnant of the former ABN Amro Holding NV, a global banking giant that was acquired and broken up in 2007 by a group including Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, Banco Santander SA and Fortis SA/NV. The €71 billion takeover was the largest ever in the industry, and proved nearly fatal for RBS and Fortis, when the financial crisis struck a year later. ABN Amro is now a much smaller domestic-focused lender (3).
The listing highlights the return to health of the Dutch financial services industry. “The new ABN Amro proves things have changed in the financial sector,” said Michael Enthoven, Director of NL Financial Investments, which owns nationalised financial companies on behalf of the Dutch government. “You don’t know how hard you have to work for a bank to become boring” (4).
ABN Amro is the Netherland’s third-largest bank. Its shares are trading on Euronext Amsterdam, with unconditional trading due to begin on Tuesday (5).