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Fortis breakup goes ahead

FortisEffect, the group of dissident shareholders opposed to the break-up and nationalisation of Fortis, has lost its attempt to stop the break-up of the company. The commercial court in Amsterdam earlier this week ruled that it could not freeze the sale of the insurance units because it had already partially happened and there were practical objections on how to manage the units under a sale freeze.

FortisEffect, representing around 10,000 Fortis share, bond and option holders sued the Dutch state on the basis that the deal unfairly wiped out their stakes in the firm.¬†FortisEffect argued that its members should have been consulted on the nationalisation of Fortis’s Dutch assets by the government last October. Failure to do so rendered the EUR 16.8 billion (USD 22 billion) transaction invalid, they insisted, and precluded the further selling of assets.

The Dutch court disagrees and in a statement said: “This ruling strengthens the Dutch state’s position that the Fortis transactions are irreversible and the state is not liable for damages,”

Legal proceedings on the issue of damages are ongoing.

Links

Dutch Ministry of Finance >>

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