LaSalle Bank Sparks a Duel

The Chicago hometown bank has been called a "fixer-upper." But it has become a bone of contention between bidders in the ABN Amro buyout

LaSalle Bank, an outfit that Chicagoans have treated as a hometown bank since the Great Depression, has become an unlikely prize in the global battle to carve up the big bank's Dutch parent, ABN Amro Holding (ABN). LaSalle, No. 2 by deposits in the Chicago area, has emerged at the center of a tussle among banking giants including Royal Bank of Scotland and Britain's Barclays (BCS), as well as the U.S. retail banking powerhouse Bank of America (BAC) (see BusinessWeek.com, 4/25/07, "Can the Scots Spoil Barclays' ABN Deal?"). The Chicago bank is much coveted because it provides entrée into the Midwest banking market, which is potentially lucrative and strategically important to the bidders.

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