EU opens in-depth investigation over the sale of Dexia to Qatar

Reuters , Tuesday 3 Apr 2012

Inquiry begins into the deal made between Qatar's royal family and the Luxembourg arm of Franco-Belgian lender Dexia

The European Commission said on Tuesday it had opened an in-depth investigation to determine whether sale of the Luxembourg arm of Franco-Belgian lender Dexia was appropriately conducted and did not include state aid.

Qatar and Luxembourg have agreed to buy bailed-out Dexia's private and retail banking arm there, Banque Internationale Luxembourg (BIL), for 730 million euros ($971 million).

Qatar's al-Thani royal family is to acquire 90 per cent of Banque Internationale Luxembourg (BIL) via their Precision Capital investment group, with the Luxembourg state taking the remaining 10 percent.

"Given that the proposed sale is the result of exclusive negotiations with one private investor and that the Commission does not have enough information on the valuation of the carved-out businesses at this stage, the Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the price of the transaction is market conform," the Commission said in a statement.

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