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ABN Amro and Barclays PLC agree to merge to create one single bank

ABN Amro and Barclays PLC announced Monday they have agreed to merge, in one of the largest cross-border combinations in European banking history.

Barclays offered Ђ36.25 (US$ 49.25) for each ABN share, Friday's closing price, the banks said. As part of the deal, ABN announced it is selling its U.S. unit LaSalle Bank to Bank of America Corp. for US$21 billion (EUR 5.45 billion) in cash.

"The proposed merger of ABN Amro and Barclays will create a strong and competitive combination for its clients with superior products and extensive distribution," the banks said in a statement. "The merged group is expected to generate significant and sustained future incremental earnings growth for shareholders."

The banks said the merger would create a single bank, headquartered in Amsterdam, with 47 million customers worldwide.

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