NETHERLANDS - APG, the Dutch pension fund investor with around €200bn (US$256.8bn) of assets under management, abstained from voting on the decision to sell parts of banking group Fortis to BNP Paribas, causing the motion to be defeated.
APG - one of the largest pension fund investors in the Netherlands - is thought to hold up to 50 million shares in Fortis, and voted for the sale of the Dutch part of the business, but abstained on the sale to BNP.
A spokesperson for APG told Global Pensions: "We voted for the sale of the Dutch activities because we think, in balance, a fair price was paid. However, we abstained from voting on the sale of the Belgian activities. Actually, we would have wanted to vote against it, economic considerations, [as] it was not the right price."
APG added: "Eventually we decided to abstain, amongst other [investors], because the consequences of a 'No' vote of the GM of shareholders, [given] the complexity of the case, were impossible to assess."
Despite voting for the resolution, the Dutch sale was rejected by a 57.01% majority, while Fortis said the BNP Paribas proposal was rejected without resort to a vote, due to the opposition from shareholders.
In a statement, Fortis said the outcome of the votes would have no impact on the operations of the businesses in the group.
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