BNP Paribas Completes Acquisition of Fortis Bank

May 13, 2009

BNP Paribas Group has successfully completed its acquisition of Fortis Bank, making BNP Paribas the largest bank in the Eurozone by deposits. The final aspects of this extremely complex transaction, which involved government bodies and financial supervisory authorities across several jurisdictions, negotiations with the European Commission, and fierce litigation by opponents of the transaction, closed on May 13 after eight months.

In the transaction, Cleary Gottlieb represented BNP Paribas in its acquisitions of approximately 75% of Fortis Bank and a majority stake in Banque Générale du Luxembourg, and on the acquisition of 25% of Fortis Insurance Belgium by Fortis Bank, as well as the simultaneous defeasance of a portfolio of structured products from Fortis Bank worth about €11.5 billion.

The firm fielded a large team spanning multiple offices, including Paris, Brussels, London, New York and Washington, and practice groups, including corporate, finance, regulatory, competition and tax.