ABN AMRO’s €16.7bn privatisation IPO raising €3.8bn


The Dutch State initiated the €16.7bn privatisation IPO of ABN AMRO, the retail, private and commercial bank focused on the Netherlands, on Euronext Amsterdam, raising €3.8 billion. This represented the largest ever Dutch privatisation, the largest ever Dutch IPO and the largest ever Western European Bank IPO.

The IPO returned ABN AMRO to the Dutch stock market after seven years as an unlisted company. ABN AMRO primarily comprises the Dutch businesses of the former ABN AMRO Group and Fortis, both of which were nationalised by the Dutch State during the financial crisis. 

Rothschild Global Advisory acted as the sole financial adviser to NLFI (NL Financial Investments).  NLFI's prime mandate is exercising the shareholder rights, on behalf of the Dutch State, in ABN AMRO and other nationalised financial institutions. The establishment of NLFI was the result of a parliamentary resolution to ensure a commercial, non-political governance of financial institutions and a transparent separation of interests.

Privatisation of the bank was desired as soon as the company had reached readiness. NLFI completed an examination of various exit options in August 2013 and hired Rothschild Global Advisory to assist in assessing this readiness, and advising on the nature, timing and process for the privatisation, including which underwriting banks to choose for the IPO. We conducted a bespoke syndicate selection process designed to select the best quality and combination of banks for the ABN AMRO syndicate for the lowest possible fees.

In May 2015, after receipt of our independent financial advice, NLFI recommended to the Dutch Minister of Finance the pursuit of an exit of ABN AMRO via IPO.

The transaction cements Rothschild's position as the leading adviser on equity offerings within the financial sector, combining the expertise of our sector and markets specialists. It also drew on the deep local knowledge of our Netherlands coverage team and on the firm's long-standing and strong track record in complex privatisation processes. 

The IPO, which was announced on 27 October 2015 and priced on 20 November 2015, generated proceeds of €3.8 billion for the Dutch State and an initial free float of 23%. The IPO achieved favourable pricing despite a fragile market backdrop which saw several European IPOs delayed, pulled or reduced in size or value.