Fortis never made a formal request to Brussels for a delay in the forced sale of a number of ABN Amro units after the takeover, spokeswoman Liliane Tackaert told the Financieele Dagblad on Friday.
Nevertheless, there was a lot of contact between the European Commission and the bank and it was obvious that the change of getting a delay was very small, Tackaert said.
Her comments follow a statement from EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes who denied that Fortis CEO Maurice Lippens had ‘begged’ her to allow a delay. Lippens made the claim at Monday’s information evening for shareholders.
Tackaert said Lippens used ‘begged’ as a metaphor to show how hard the bank had looked for an alternative solution to the sale. Fortis booked a loss of €300m on the deal.
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