October 30, 2006 01:37 ET

Fortis to acquire Dominet, a Polish consumer finance specialist

BRUSSEL, BELGIUM -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 30, 2006 --

Fortis takes an important step in the international roll out of its consumer finance activities with the signing of an agreement to acquire 100% of Dominet, a Polish retail bank specialising in consumer finance.

The transaction will be subject to full regulatory approval, in particular the approval of the Polish Bank Supervisory Committee, and customary closing conditions.

Dominet is a full-service retail bank with 806 employees and a modern nationwide branch network in Poland. It occupies a strong position in the car finance segment and has a fast-growing portfolio of cash loans. Dominet also supplies other banking products to retail customers.

Dominet has the tenth largest branch network in Poland consisting of around 152 branches and franchises. It has privileged relationships with over 2,000 car dealers, including Poland's largest network of used-car dealers operating under the name Autotu, a well-known brand.

Jos Clijsters, CEO Fortis Retail Banking comments: "International growth of our Retail Banking activities is a pillar of Fortis's strategy, and therefore the acquisition of Dominet represents a step forward that will help us to expand our activities in the interesting Polish market. Dominet will be part of the Fortis structure and I trust our enhanced offering in Poland will benefit both existing and future customers. We warmly welcome the Dominet's dynamic employees and franchisees to Fortis."

Marc Luet, CEO of Fortis Consumer Finance Group, adds: 'We are already rolling out our consumer finance skills in 7 European countries. Combined with our proven expertise in working with franchises, we will further develop the Polish distribution network, implementing a segmented multi-channel distribution model. The combination of Dominet's distribution channels, products and market knowledge with Fortis experience will boost our presence in the Polish consumer finance market and increase our market share."

Sylwester Cacek, President of the Supervisory Board of Dominet, says: "The combination of Dominet and Fortis Consumer Finance will create a significant market position and the similarities in our respective corporate cultures will contribute to further accelerate the growth of the combined activities in Poland."

This acquisition will have no material impact on Fortis's solvency or net profit per share in 2006 and is expected to meet Fortis's investment criteria.

As of 1pm CET, a presentation on this acquisition is available on in the section Investor Relations.

About Fortis

Fortis is an international financial services provider engaged in banking and insurance. We offer our personal, business and institutional customers a comprehensive package of products and services through our own channels, in collaboration with intermediaries and through other distribution partners.

With a market capitalisation of EUR 41.6 billion (30/09/2006), Fortis ranks among the twenty largest financial institutions in Europe. Our sound solvency position, our presence in 50 countries and our dedicated, professional workforce of 58,000 enable us to combine global strength with local flexibility and provide our clients with optimum support. More information is available on

About Fortis Consumer Finance Group

Fortis Consumer Finance was structured as a separate activity within Fortis Retail Banking in April 2005. Under the leadership of Marc Luet, it unites the consumer finance businesses of the Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey, Luxembourg, Poland, Germany and Switzerland. It has been identified as a key driver of growth and enhanced profitability, and is expected to enter several new markets in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, as well as to consolidate its significant existing market shares in the Benelux countries. In 2005, Fortis Consumer Finance gained entry to the Turkish consumer finance market owing to the acquisition of Disbank (now Fortis Turkey), entered the German market with the acquisition of Von Essen Bank and it is currently leveraging its existing presence in Poland to expand its business in that fast growing market. At the end of 2005, Fortis Consumer Finance had 977 employees and EUR 2.6 billion in outstanding loans.

About Fortis Poland

Fortis is represented in Poland mainly by Fortis Bank Polska SA, which specialises in servicing domestic and international companies, and personal customers. The bank's shares are listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Fortis Bank Poland operates out of 43 locations - including eight Business Centres - in Poland's major cities and employs over 1200people.

Other Fortis entities in Poland are Fortis Lease Polska, Fortis Private Investments Polska and Fortis Investments. More information is available on

Fortis will hold a teleconference for the media today on Monday 30 October, at 11.00 AM CET. Please find below the details for the listen only lines.

The dial in number for the listen only is: +44 (0)20 7138 0836

Press Office:

Brussels:           +32 2 565 35 84    Utrecht: +31 30 226 32 19

Investor Relations:

Brussels:           +32 2 565 53 78    Utrecht: +31 30 226 32 20

Copyright © Hugin ASA 2006. All rights reserved.

Contact Information