Fortis shareholders in Brussels on Wednesday rejected the carve-up of the Dutch Belgian financial services group by voting against the nationalisation of parts of its operations.
The decision means the future of Fortis is extremely uncertain.
Earlier this week, chairman Jan-Michiel Hessels said in a interview with the Financieele Dagblad that the group could go bankrupt if the carve-up is rejected.
Fortis shareholders were being asked to approve the break-up of the financial services group, which has seen its share price collapse. The Dutch activities have been nationalised, the Belgium government is to buy the Belgian banking arm and BNP Paribas has agreed to buy the company’s Belgian insurance assets.
The Dutch state paid €16.8bn for the Dutch activities, a figure which shareholders say was too low.
Dutch shareholders lobby group VEB told the FD that it hopes the Belgian government and French bank BNP Paribas would now go back to the negotiating table. ‘Perhaps they can come up iwth a solution which shareholders can agree with,’ a spokesman said.
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