Ageas clears name in Lux funds challenge

Ageas, one of the last vestiges of former Belgian-Dutch bank Fortis, has received a favourable ruling from the Commercial Court of Brussels after being challenged by two Luxembourg funds over securities issued by Fortis in 2002.

Ageas and Ageasfinlux had their positions upheld by the Brussels commercial court on Friday 11 February.

Luxembourg-based Tree Top Asset Management launched the claim on behalf of two of its funds, demanding securities bought off Fortis in 2002 be declared null and void.

The funds also requested the nominal value of the securities, at €250,000 each, be reimbursed.

Tree Top holds 458 of the Floating Rate Equity-linked Subordinated Hybrid (FRESH) securities. The total nominal value of all FRESH securities issued amounted to €1.25bn.

Fortfinlux, now known as Ageasfinlux following the parent group’s collapse in 2008, issued the securities to improve the capital position of Fortis back in 2002.
The holder may opt to exchange the FRESH for Fortis (Ageas) shares at a price of €31.50 per share.

Trading of Ageas shares on the Euronext Brussels, Euronext Amsterdam and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange was halted on Friday pending the legal decision, after a request from the Dutch insurer itself.

Trading in the FRESH security on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange was also temporarily suspended upon Ageas’ request.

All such trading subsequently resumed at 4.15pm that day, following announcement of the ruling in favour of Ageas and Ageasfinlux.

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