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EU Clears BNP Paribas' €14.5B Fortis Bank Buyout

Law360 (December 3, 2008, 12:00 AM EST) -- The European Union has approved BNP Paribas' acquisition of ailing Fortis Bank's Belgian and Luxembourg assets but is requiring the French bank to spin off its Belgian credit card division in order to avoid a potential monopoly in that credit card market.

The European Commission cleared the merger Wednesday, the same day it approved a major state aid injection to Fortis Bank and Fortis Luxembourg from October that saved the floundering bank from being pulled under.

BNP Paribas paid €14.5 billion ($18.3 billion) for three quarters...
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