The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to ascertain that the conditions of the sale of Dexia BIL is conducted on market conditions and therefore does not contain any state aid element. The opening of an in-depth investigation gives interested third parties the possibility to submit comments on the sale and increases legal certainty.
On 23 March 2012, Luxembourg notified the sale of Dexia BIL (Dexia Banque Internationale à Luxembourg) 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% under the same terms and conditions. In this regard, Dexia announced on 6 October 2011 that the bank had entered into exclusive negotiations with a private investor.
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.
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.
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 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).
The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.34440in 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.