Dutch banking firm ABN Amro said it would let shareholders decide between a hostile 71.1-billion euro ($96.4 billion) mostly cash takeover offer from a group of banks led by Royal Bank of Scotland and a friendly all-share bid by British bank Barclays worth about 64.2 billion euros ($87.1 billion).
Amsterdam-based ABN said it had received the Royal Bank of Scotland bid Saturday, but could not recommend it because RBS had also made a separate $24.5-billion offer for ABN's Chicago-based U.S. subsidiary, LaSalle Bank Corp.
Either deal for ABN would be the largest in banking history.
ABN has already agreed to sell LaSalle to Bank of America Corp. as part of its deal with Barclays, and Bank of America filed suit Friday in U.S. District Court in New York seeking unspecified damages from ABN if that deal falls through.
Facing a potentially multibillion-dollar lawsuit from Bank of America, ABN said Monday that it had rejected RBS' "acquisition proposal for LaSalle ... as a result of the uncertainty and execution risks."