BNP has to wait until end of April for Fortis takeover

The latest version of the French BNP Paribas' takeover plan for Fortis will not be put to a vote on April 8 as expected. The Belgian holding has decided to postpone the decision until April 28 and 29.


AFP - Fortis Holding on Wednesday put back to April 28 and 29 a shareholders' vote on a new deal to sell off its Belgian banking operations to France's BNP Paribas.

The latest version of the takeover plan was supposed to be put to a vote on April 8 at a general meeting of shareholders in the Dutch city of Utrecht, followed the next day by a similar gathering in Brussels.

But in a statement, Fortis Holding said it was postponing the meeting to the end of the month "in agreement with BNP Paribas and the Belgian state ... for practical and organisational reasons".

Fortis Holding was formed last year when the damage wrought by the US-born international credit crisis forced a split-up of the bank, with the Belgian and Dutch governments taking control of its operations in their respective nations.

Belgium has since been negotiating to sell Fortis's Belgian operations to BNP Paribas, one of Europe's biggest banks, but the process has come up against opposition from a section of shareholders.

Fortis Holding -- which Tuesday reported a 2008 net loss of 28 billion euros (37 billion dollars) -- groups together the bank's insurance operations in the Netherlands, Belgium and overseas.

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