Fortis goes ahead with rights issue

Belgian-Dutch financial services group Fortis is making a €13.4bn rights issue at a ‘heavily discounted’ €15 a share to raise money to fund its part of the takeover of ABN Amro.

Fortis and its consortium partners Royal Bank of Scotland and the Spanish bank Santander want to to take over and break up the Dutch banking group. Fortis will acquire ABN Amro’s Benelux operations.
Fortis said on Friday that there is plenty of interest in the parts of ABN Amro which the European Commission will force it to sell if the takeover by the consortium goes ahead.
‘A number of Dutch and foreign banks have contacted us,’ Fortis financial director Gilbert Mittler said during a telephone press conference.
The European Commission says Fortis will have a too-powerful position on the small and medium-sized firm sector if the deal goes through.

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