'No' vote could finish Fortis, CEO warns shareholders
Jan-Michiel Hessel says bank needed the cash from the sale of Belgian Fortis assets.
Chief executive Jan-Michiel Hessel told the Dutch daily Het Financieele Dagblad in an interview that Fortis needed the cash from the sale of Belgian Fortis assets to France's BNP Paribas to guard against toxic assets.
If the deal is blocked, "we're threatened by a bankruptcy, which will leave the shareholders empty-handed," Hessel said.
The sale would generate 2.3 billion euros (3.0 billion dollars) needed to protect the firm, he said.
The Belgian government has promised Fortis financial support provided the break-up is approved by its shareholders.
Fortis shareholders will vote Wednesday on the sale of 75 percent of Fortis's Belgian banking operations and 10 percent of its Belgian insurance business to BNP Paribas.