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IP/03/1172

Brussels, 21 August 2003

Commission allows Crédit Agricole Belgique to be taken over by Belgian and French regional affiliates

The European Commission has given the go-ahead for joint control of Crédit Agricole Belgique SA to be acquired by the Agricaisse and Lanbokas regional affiliates of the Crédit Agricole Belgique group and the northern and north-eastern regional affiliates of the Crédit Agricole France group.

The transaction involves the acquisition of Crédit Agricole Belgique SA currently controlled by Swiss Life and Dexia by two Belgian regional banks (Agricaisse and Lanbokas), themselves members of the Crédit Agricole Belgique group, and two regional affiliates (northern and north-eastern France) of the Crédit Agricole France group. Following the operation, Swiss Life and Dexia will no longer have a stake in Crédit Agricole Belgique, the mainstay and operational management entity of the Crédit Agricole Belgique group.

The Crédit Agricole Belgique group is present only in Belgium, where it sells financial services (banking and insurance) to individuals and businesses, among other things in farming and horticulture.

For its part, the Crédit Agricole France group, although it provides financial services to the same type of customers, is only marginally present in Belgium.

The Commission accordingly found that the transaction did not raise competition problems since there was no significant overlap between the businesses of the Crédit Agricole Belgique and Crédit Agricole France groups on the Belgian market.


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