‘SNS ignored advice on property takeover’

Financial services group SNS Reaal ignored top-level advice when it took over former Dutch local government property company Bouwfonds in 2006, the Financieele Dagblad said on Tuesday.

The advice not to go ahead with the takeover came from Lehman Brothers, which even threatened to halt the planned stock exchange launch, according to five Financieele Dagblad journalists in their book The Fall of SNS Reaal.

Lehman was worried about claims from investors attracted to buy shares by takeover plans in the insurance sector which were untrue, the journalists write.

CEO Sjoerd van Keulen, who pushed through the Bouwfonds takeover, resigned and SNS Reaal had to be rescued with €800m in 2008. The bank was nationalised earlier this year following heavy losses in its property division.


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