Since Saturday morning, the Belgian authorities and the leaders of BNP Paribas are on deck to study the possible appeal of the decision of the Court of appeal of Brussels suspending the sale of Fortis Bank to the French group. Lawyers of the two parties to think first about an action referred to the Court of cassation. It could be an action on the shape as on the merits in the hope of quashing the decision of the Court of appeal and to proceed with the sale. On the form, the fact that one of the judges, has not signed the decision, does not appear in any case to invalidate it. The judgment of the Court of appeal is "totally valid", considers the Modrikamen lawyer's Office, which represents some 2,000 small shareholders of the bancassureur, and the spokesman for the Court of appeal. The Belgian authorities meet this evening to decide on a possible appeal. BNP Paribas could join or to appeal in his own name.
The passage in force
The decision of the Court of appeal of Brussels suspends sale of 50 and action of Fortis Bank to BNP Paribas. But the Belgian State, which holds 100 of the Bank via the IFPS, could in theory give its remaining 49.93 to the French group and continue the industrial rapprochement between the two banks.
This solution is not however the most likely because it initiates a process of integration so that the responsible operational, in this case the bank BNP Paribas, has no control and is not provided to date have quickly.
The path of negotiation
To avoid the legal deadlock, the Belgian State could renegotiate the terms of purchase with BNP Paribas or, more likely, to make a further gesture in the direction of the small shareholders. "We want a better agreement or even another, yesterday said Laurent Arnauts, the law firm of Modrikamen.". This is damage to the Belgium of having lost one of its largest banks.
Since the beginning, the small shareholders complain conditions negotiations for the sale of Fortis Bank to BNP Paribas, took place in which the famous weekend of October 3 to 5, and terms and conditions of the agreement which BNP Paribas paid 14.5 billion for 75 of the Belgian banking activities of Fortis, 100 of the Belgium insurance activities and 66 of Fortis Luxembourg. And seems not prepared for the time being to grant an extension. For its part, the Belgian State might be tempted to use small shareholders Belgian Fortis Holding who lost much more in this case and thus extinguish a judicial procedure and a new contest over the sell-off of a national flagship.
Output of BNP Paribas
It is now the least probable solution. BNP Paribas has reiterated its interest in the transaction Fortis and is already strongly committed to its teams. The Bank also assumes liquidity of Fortis Bank since the announcement of the operation, more than two months ago. However, if the situation was becoming bogged down and that the course of BNP Paribas stock was suffering too much of these delays, it is not totally excluded that term, BNP Paribas waives this operation to be able to focus his energies on the rest of the group, or even other acquisitions.