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Reuters: FACTBOX-Rich history to Anglo-Dutch corporate mergers

(Reuters) – Dutch bank ABN AMRO , which is in exclusive talks to merge with Barclays , would not be the first major company to be jointly managed or listed in the Netherlands and Britain.

The following is a list of major Anglo-Dutch corporate alliances:

For the day’s news on ABN, click on [ID:nL21397388].

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC

The global’s second-largest energy company has its roots in the Shell Transport and Trading Company and Royal Dutch Petroleum, which joined forces in 1903 to oppose U.S. oil giant Standard Oil.

The partnership company, which was founded in 1907, had two separate holding companies with Royal Dutch holding 60 percent and Shell Transport 40 percent.

In 2005, after a scandal involving the depreciation of the oil giant’s reserves, Royal Dutch Shell adopted a more streamlined and centralised management structure. Royal Dutch Shell is now incorporated as a British company but headquarted in The Hague — similar to the structure that Barclays and ABN have proposed.

UNILEVER

The maker of consumer products such as Dove, Knorr soups and Sunsilk shampoo was created in 1929 from the merger of Britain’s Lever Brothers and Dutch Margarine Unie, initially to negotiate an arrangement to keep out of each other’s principal interests of soap and margarine production.

That eventually resulted in a merger with dual listings.

REED ELSEVIER

The Anglo-Dutch publishing company was formed in 1993 when the assets of Reed International Plc and Elsevier NV were combined.

Reed Elsevier, which own legal database Lexis-Nexis, is known for its legal, medical and educational publications.

Parts of the company are still run independently, although its top management was centralised in the late 1990s. The company has dual listings in London and Amsterdam.

CORUS

The steel company, in the proces of being acquired by India’s Tata Steel , was founded in 1999 when British Steel and Koninklijke Hoogovens merged.

“We will be a financially strong group, with the capacity to achieve synergy benefits from a variety of sources, which we are convinced could not be realised by any other means,” both companies said in its merger manifesto.

Disagreements between the two origial entities weighed on the combined group in its early years, but under Philippe Varin’s management, improved before Tata Steel won bidding for Corus in January of this year with a $12 billion offer.

ING BARINGS

One of England’s oldest merchant banks with roots dating back to 1762, Barings was bought by the Dutch financial services group in 1995 for 1 pound, saving it from bankruptcy.

Barings collapsed after trader Nick Leeson lost more than $1 billion in currency futures contracts. 

Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:39 PM BST
 
© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved.

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