Fortis shareholders plan court action over Dutch nationalisation
Belgian shareholders of Fortis to fight banks's nationalisation.
THE HAGUE—Shareholders of dismantled bank Fortis will take legal action seeking to freeze the Dutch state's nationalisation of the group's Netherlands-based activities, their lawyer said Thursday.
"We will bring an urgent application against the Dutch state because the transaction was invalid," said Adriaan de Gier, a lawyer for the grouping FortisEffect, which claims to represent some 1,250 investors.
The court bid, which he said would be lodged shortly, follows a rejection by shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting in Brussels Wednesday of a Dutch and Belgian salvage plan that would nationalise parts of the ailing bank and sell others off to French bank BNP Paribas.
De Gier said shareholders should have been consulted on the nationalisation of Fortis' Dutch assets by the government in October last year.
On Wednesday, the Dutch government said the rejection by Belgian shareholders of the Dutch nationalisation did not affect the validity of its 16.8-billion-euro purchase.
Another extraordinary general meeting of shareholders is to be held in Utrecht in the Netherlands on Friday, but unlike their Belgian counterparts, Dutch investors will not have the right to vote on the validity of the dismantlement transactions.