SOURCE: FORTIS

March 05, 2008 02:31 ET

VINCI and Fortis enter into exclusive negotiations to create the world's leading car park operator

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - March 5, 2008) -


VINCI and Fortis today signed a memorandum of understanding with a view to combining their respective activities in the public car park industry. This combination would be achieved through VINCI Park, a subsidiary of VINCI Concessions, and Interparking, a subsidiary of Fortis Real Estate. Both groups would share the equity of the new entity, which would be majority owned by VINCI, Fortis retaining a significant holding. The new entity would manage 1.3 million parking places in 1,800 car parks in 16 countries worldwide.

The two companies have a complementary set of activities. VINCI Park is the European car park industry leader and a major player worldwide with a strong presence in various countries in Europe - especially France, the UK and Spain - and in North America. Interparking is Europe's third biggest car park operator with a large base of freehold properties and a strong presence in Benelux, Spain, Germany, Austria and Italy.

This combination would be an excellent opportunity to strengthen the new player's presence in a number of key markets, thereby benefiting from increased brand awareness. Furthermore, it will increase the pool of expertise, to deliver the best and most innovative service to its customers.

The new entity will have better access to the financial resources needed to invest in newly developing markets and should become an even more dynamic player in the international public parking industry.

After a period of due diligence, the final agreement is expected to be signed in the third quarter of 2008. The completion of the transaction will be subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

The transaction will have a positive impact on Fortis's solvency ratio.

The new entity will be fully consolidated by VINCI.

Interparking

For nearly half a century, the Interparking Group has been designing, developing and operating public car parks (off-road) across Europe, thus providing vital breathing space to inner-city areas in a few hundred towns and cities. Interparking today operates a total of 480 car parks with almost 235,000 parking spaces in airport, hospital and shopping centre car parks, in town centers and outskirts of the cities. Together, these car parks accommodate more than 50 million vehicles a year.

Fortis Insurance Belgium acquired Interparking through its subsidiary Fortis Real Estate in 2002 under its Assets & Liabilities Management strategy, with the aim of diversifying its real estate portfolio. For more information, please visit www.interparking.be.

VINCI Park

VINCI Park, market leader in Europe and a major operator worldwide since 1963, has a presence in 12 countries, now operates 1,090,000 parking spaces in 1,300 car parks in Europe and North America. Over the past few years, the company has successfully increased its international presence in Canada, the United States, Eastern Europe and Russia.

VINCI Park continuously strives to offer cities customised solutions to their mobility issues, focusing strongly on respect for the environment and the dynamics of urban centres.

Fortis is an international financial services provider engaged in banking and insurance. It offers personal, business and institutional customers a comprehensive package of products and services through its own channels, in collaboration with intermediaries and through other distribution partners. With a market capitalisation of EUR 32.3 billion (29/02/2008), Fortis ranks among the 15 largest financial institutions in Europe. Fortis's sound solvency position, its presence in more than 50 countries and its dedicated, professional workforce of 60,000 enable Fortis to combine global strength with local flexibility and provide clients with optimum support. More information is available at www.fortis.com.

VINCI, the world's leading concession operation and construction group, has based its growth strategy from the outset on its integrated construction-concession operation business model.

The work of its 158,000 employees consists of financing, designing, building and operating infrastructures that enhance people's lives, including transport infrastructures, public and private buildings, car parks, urban development projects, and communication and energy networks.

With operations in over 90 countries, the Group generated revenue of EUR 30.4 billion in 2007. With a market capitalisation of EUR 21.8 billion, VINCI is listed on the Paris stock exchange and is included in major European indexes such as the CAC 40, DJ EURO STOXX 50, ASPI Eurozone and DJSI. More information is available at www.vinci.com.

Fortis Press contacts:

Brussels: +32 (0) 2 565 35 84
Utrecht:  +31 (0)30 226 32 19

Fortis Investor Relations:

Brussels: +32 (0) 2 565 53 78
Utrecht:  +31 (0)30 226 65 66

VINCI Press contact:

Estelle FERRON-HUGONNET
+33 (0)1 47 16 32 41
estelle.ferron@vinci.com

VINCI Investor Relations:

Marie-Amélia FOLCH
+33 (0)1 47 16 45 39
marie-amelia.folch@vinci.com

pdf version of the press release: http://hugin.info/134212/R/1198214/243993.pdf

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