Ping An to sabotage Fortis sale
by David Masters
Story link: Ping An to sabotage Fortis sale
Ping An has said it will vote against the sale of Fortis to BNP Paribas.
China-based insurance firm Ping An is Fortis’s biggest shareholder with a 4.8% stake.
The group insisted that there are other ways forward aside from selling Fortis, and that BNP Paribas’s offer is a bad deal for shareholders.
It said it will vote against the sale at shareholder meetings held this week in Belgium and the Netherlands because it wants to uphold Fortis as a ‘longstanding Belgian financial brand’.
Ping An took a 22.8 billion yuan ($3.33 billion) loss on its Fortis shares when the Belgium-based insurance firm verged on the brink of collapse last year and was rescued through a deal between the Dutch and Belgian governments.
“We believe that the dismantlement of Fortis, which was not approved by shareholders, violates corporate governance procedures and destroys shareholder value,” Ping An said in a statement.
“Other credible and viable solutions exist and should be considered, in the interest of all parties.”
Fortis shares fell 6.9% following Ping An’s announcement.