Brussels, 25 July 2012
State aid: Commission finds sale of Dexia BIL contains no state aid
The European Commission has concluded that the sale of Dexia Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (Dexia BIL) did not involve state aid in the meaning of the EU rules and closed its in-depth investigation opened in April. The Commission found, in particular, that the sales price was in line with the market. Several other investigations regarding state support in favour of Dexia are ongoing.
Commission Vice-President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia said: "The long saga of investigation into the Dexia group is still on-going and Dexia continues to receive lots of state support. But today I am glad to announce that we were able to close one chapter in this long story, by clearing the Dexia BIL transaction, which will set the path for an independent development of the Luxembourgish part of the group".
After an in-depth investigation, opened in April 2012 (see IP/12/346), the Commission found that the sale of Dexia BIL did not result in any economic advantage financed through state resources either for Dexia BIL or for the Dexia group. In particular, the price of the transaction of 730 million euro is in line with the market and reflects the true value of the sold business. The Commission therefore concluded that the sale did not entail state aid in the meaning of Article 107 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
On 23 March 2012, Luxembourg notified the sale of Dexia BIL to the Commission. The sold business mainly comprises Dexia BIL's retail and private banking business, whereas other businesses are carved-out from the transaction. Under the notified transaction a private investor would acquire 90% of the sold business and Luxembourg the remaining 10% on the same terms.
Dexia BIL is part of the Dexia group, which benefitted from significant state support from France, Belgium and Luxembourg, in 2008/2009 in the form of a recapitalisation, guarantees on funding and a guarantee on impaired assets. That support was approved by the Commission in February 2010 in return for a restructuring plan to be concluded by the end of 2014 (see IP/10/201 and case C9/2009).
The restructuring plan enabled Dexia SA to enhance the stability of its financing sources and reduce its leverage and its portfolio of non-strategic assets. However, the bank has fallen behind with the implementation of this plan and the imbalance in its financing sources has worsened again since last summer.
Since then, the Member States involved notified additional aid to Dexia group, via the sale of DBB to the Belgian State (see IP/11/1203 and case SA.33751) and additional State guarantees on new refinancing of Dexia SA and its subsidiary Dexia Crédit Local (DCL) (see cases SA.33760, SA.33763 and SA.33764). On 31 May 2012 the Commission extended the in-depth investigation into the orderly resolution plan of the Dexia group and temporarily approved prolongation of the refinancing guarantee to Dexia SA and DCL (see IP/12/523)
The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.34440 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.
Antoine Colombani (+32 2 297 45 13)
Marisa Gonzalez Iglesias (+32 2 295 19 25)