Daily Insurance Industry News
Daily Insurance Industry News
Wednesday 18th of July 2018
January 30, 2009

Fortis shareholders take legal action against Dutch state

by Gill Montia

Story link: Fortis shareholders take legal action against Dutch state

Shareholders in Fortis, the Dutch insurer and one-time financial giant, are threatening legal action against the Dutch state.

Last autumn, a collapse in confidence in the business necessitated an €11.2 billion bail-out of the group by the governments of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

Members of the FortisEffect shareholder action group, which comprises around 1,200 investors, have since voiced their opposition to the nationalisation of Fortis’ Dutch operations and yesterday served a summons on finance minister, Wouter Bos.

Shareholders are arguing that they should have been consulted before the Dutch Government took the decision nationalise part of the business in October, in return for a €16.8 billion injection of cash.

Lawyers acting for FortisEffect are demanding the move be declared unlawful, although Dutch ministers maintain that investors would have stood a greater loss without Government intervention.

Also this week, Fortis has begun renegotiating the terms of its rescue by the Belgian Government, after a successful legal challenge from shareholders.

The new terms could involve the sale of half Fortis’ insurance unit to French bank, BNP Paribas, rather than the entire business.


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