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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 May 2007, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Legal action over ABN bank sale
Branch of LaSalle bank
The row over LaSalle has jeopardised the ABN Amro takeover
Bank of America has appealed against the decision of a Dutch Court to block its $21bn (10.5bn) purchase of ABN Amro's US bank, LaSalle.

The appeal, filed in the Dutch Supreme Court, claims that it was wrong to prevent the sale going ahead.

Control of LaSalle is key to the continuing takeover battle for ABN between Barclays Bank and a consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

If either deal went through, it would be the biggest in banking history.


The RBS consortium, which also includes Spain's Santander and Belgian-Dutch bank Fortis, has said it would be willing to offer $96.4bn for ABN Amro, but this offer is conditional on it gaining control of LaSalle.

Barclays, on the other hand, wants the sale of LaSalle to go through and its friendly $62.6bn deal is dependent on that happening.

A Bank of America spokesman said that the appeal alleged that US laws should govern the sale of LaSalle and not Dutch ones, meaning that Amsterdam's Superior Court should not have intervened.

The Dutch court has also been wrong to rule that ABN shareholders must approve the LaSalle sale, Bank of America said.

The RBS consortium eventually plans to break up ABN if it wins control of the Dutch bank, while Barclays has pledged to shift the enlarged group's headquarters to Amsterdam if its bid is successful.

The sale of ABN Amro was sparked by a campaign by the Children's Investment Fund, which wanted the Dutch bank to break itself up to maximise shareholder value.

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