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BNP Paribas buys Fortis operations for Euro14.5 bn
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October 06, 2008 15:56 IST

French banking major BNP Paribas said on Monday it will acquire beleaguered Fortis' Belgium and Luxembourg operations as well as the international franchises for an estimated Euro14.5 billion.

The latest sale of assets of Fortis which has been battered by the ongoing credit crisis, follows the buyout of the Belgian major's Dutch operations by the Netherlands government for Euro16.8 billion.

In a statement issued on Monday, the French firm said the Euro14.5 billion buyout comprises nine billion in stock and another Euro5.5 billion in cash.

Further, the state of Belgium and the state of Luxembourg would become significant shareholders of BNP Paribas.

As part of the deal, BNP Paribas would acquire 1,458 branches located in Belgium, Luxembourg, and all other countries except the Netherlands (including Poland, Turkey and France) and the Fintro branch network in Belgium.

In addition, the French major would buyout Fortis' insurance business in Belgium, investment management activities which includes former ABN Amro Asset Management, private banking, merchant banking and consumer finance activities, all the three outside the Netherlands.

Fortis' fortunes took a beating in the ongoing financial turmoil after it had snapped up a substantial stake in ABN Amro.

On October 3, Fortis said the Netherlands government has snapped up Fortis Bank Nederland (Holding) N V, including the participation in RFS Holdings B V that represents the acquired activities of ABN AMRO, Fortis Verzekeringen Nederland N V, and Fortis Corporate Insurance N V.

Earlier, Fortis had received an investment worth Euro11.2 billion from the governments of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg, in an effort to support the troubled entity in the ongoing credit crunch.

Under the agreement reached with Fortis, the three governments would make investments in exchange for 49 per cent stake each in three different subsidiaries of the Belgian giant, falling in their respective jurisdictions.

While the government of Belgium would invest Euro4.7 billion in Fortis Bank NV/SA (Belgium), Netherlands would pump in Euro 4 billion into Fortis Bank Nederland (Holding) NV and Luxembourg would inject Euro2.5 billion in Fortis Banque Luxembourg SA.

However, the transaction announced on Friday, replaces the previously announced investment of Euro4 billion in Fortis Bank Nederland Holding N V.

Following the deal, Fortis Group entails Fortis Insurance Belgium, Fortis Insurance International and the banking activities excluding Fortis Bank Nederland (Holding) N V.

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