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Liedekerke advises the Belgian State on the agreement to transfer its 25 per cent shareholding in BNP Paribas Fortis to BNP Paribas

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15/11/2013
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Liedekerke has advised the Belgian State (through its investment vehicle SFPI/FPIM) on the agreement to transfer its 25 per cent shareholding in BNP Paribas Fortis to BNP Paribas for a consideration of EUR 3.25 billion.

The Belgian State will realise a capital gain of approximately EUR 900 million at the closing of the transaction.

The Liedekerke team was led by Thierry Tilquin, assisted by senior associates Thérèse Loffet and Julie-Anne Delcorde.

Liedekerke is a long-standing adviser of the Belgian State, having previously represented SFPI/FPIM on, amongst other matters, the nationalization of Fortis Bank Belgium (now BNP Paribas Fortis) in 2008 due to Fortis Bank Belgium’s deteriorated financial condition, and the simultaneous disposal of 75 per cent of Fortis Bank Belgium’s shares to BNP Paribas, as well as the transfer of the portfolio of structured credits of Royal Park Investment, a subsidiary of Ageas, SFPI/FPIM and BNP Paribas, to Lone Star and Crédit Suisse in May this year for EUR 6.7 billion.

At the end of the Council of Ministers, Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and Minister of Finance Koen Geens declared: “The objectives set by the Government when the Belgian State initially invested were fully achieved. The bank has met its commitments despite a challenging environment. The moment had therefore come for the Belgian State to disengage from BNP Paribas Fortis. We are confident in the ability of the bank to maintain its role in the Belgian economy. The sale proceeds of 3.25 billion Euros will help the Belgian State to achieve its public debt objectives. In addition, the Belgian State welcomes BNP Paribas’ significant investment in Belgium for the set up of two group-wide data centres.”

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton were legal advisors to BNP Paribas.

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