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Fortis, BNP Paribas and Belgian government reach new agreement

Subject to Fortis’s shareholders-meeting approval, the government will transfer 75% of Fortis Bank to BNP Paribas

The Belgian government, Fortis Holding and BNP Paribas have signed an amendment to the protocol signed in October 2008 which modifies the terms of BNP Paribas’s acquisition of Fortis’s activities in Belgium and Luxembourg.

Under the terms of this new agreement and subject to the approval of Fortis’s shareholders meeting, the Belgian government will transfer to BNP Paribas 75% of Fortis Bank on the basis of an E11 billion valuation for 100% in exchange of BNP Paribas shares issued at E68 and Fortis Bank will acquire 25% of Fortis Insurance Belgium from Fortis Holding.

Mr. Jozef De Mey, chairman of Fortis Holding, said: This is an improvement on the (previous) agreement and, we think, the maximum we could get. We are fully confident this time shareholders will say ‘yes’.

This transaction will ensure the essential role of Fortis Bank in serving the Belgian economy by uniting it with the BNP Paribas which through this strategic transaction will strengthen its pan-European footprint, said BNP. The acquisition of 25% of Fortis Insurance Belgium will ensure the development of a partnership in bancassurance and again give Fortis Holding clear development prospects as the leading insurer in Belgium, added BNP.