Dutch Fortis shareholders to go to court for a voice at meeting

13th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

Dutch shareholders of dismantled and partly nationalised banking and insurance group Fortis said Tuesday they will go to court to be allowed to vote on the sale of the company's parts.

THE HAGUE - Represented by European investors' body Euroshareholders, the group said it had filed a request Monday with the Amsterdam companies tribunal for an order compelling Fortis to allow them to vote at a shareholders meeting next month.

"Euroshareholders is upset about the fact that Fortis put the approval of the 3, 5, and 6 October, 2008 transactions on the agenda of the Belgian shareholders meeting, but did not similarly seek approval from the shareholders of Fortis NV in the Netherlands," they said in a statement.

The body said it was acting for 15,000 Fortis investors.

The investors said about 95 percent of the company was sold in the transactions of October 3, 5 and 6, including Fortis Bank Belgium, Fortis Insurance Belgium, Fortis Bank Netherlands and Fortis Insurance Netherlands.

They said they were directly affected by the changes, including a 97 percent drop in total assets now estimated at 27 billion euros and a 93 percent drop in revenue.

Fortis Holding said Monday it would arrange extraordinary shareholders meetings in Brussels on February 11, and in Utrecht in the Netherlands two days later.

Hard hit by the global financial crisis, the former Belgian-Dutch banking and insurance group was dismantled in October, with its Dutch banking and insurance assets nationalised by the Netherlands for 16.8 billion euros (22 billion dollars).

Luxembourg bought the group's Luxembourg assets and Belgium its Belgian banking business -- of which the state was planning to sell 75 percent to BNP Paribas.

That sale was suspended by a Belgian court ruling.

For the moment, the remainder of Fortis comprises the Belgian and international insurance arms, and a general account of inter-company assets and liabilities.

It is no longer involved in any banking activities.

The Amsterdam companies tribunal confirmed a case had been filed but said no date had been set for a hearing.

[AFP/ Expatica]

0 Comments To This Article