BNP Paribas threatens to pull out of Fortis bid: press

BNP Paribas threatens to pull out of Fortis bid: press

Brussels: French bank BNP Paribas has warned the Belgian government that it will withdraw its bid for assets of troubled Belgian banking and insurance group Fortis unless the deal is concluded quickly, Belgian media said on Wednesday.

BNP chief executive Baudouin Prot came to Brussels last Sunday to explain to the Belgian authorities that he was starting to “ask questions" after a Belgian court suspended the sale of the Belgian assets of Fortis, Le Soir daily reported.

“If we cannot get into Fortis now, we will pull out," Prot told his Belgian hosts.

The Fortis dossier is likely to loom large at a BNP Paribas general shareholders meeting on Friday.

The court ruling came after minority shareholders in the Belgian bank challenged the deal on the grounds that they had not been consulted about the takeover by BNP Paribas.

Shortly after the ruling, the French bank had ruled out abandoning its bid in a press statement.

Belgian-Dutch bank Fortis was dismantled in October, with its Dutch assets nationalised by the Netherlands government for €16.8 billion and its Belgian and Luxembourg activities sold to French bank BNP Paribas.