Conscious of its shareholders best interests, BNP put forward numerous proposals with a view to reaching a concerted solution, but would not consent to a compromise which:
- would not allow the combination of the three banks, even on a progressive basis,
- and, was financially uncertain and involved numerous legal obstacles.
BNP's efforts will now focus exclusively on the integration of Paribas, which will be the premier French bank and one of Europe's leading providers of financial services.
BNP-Paribas is the largest commercial bank in France and ranks in the top ten in Europe in terms of market capitalisation (Euro 34 billion). It has a large international network with a presence in 83 countries including seven leading financial centres and the capability to undertake an ambitious development strategy. The creation of BNP-Paribas represents the largest merger in French banking history.
With shareholders' funds in excess of Euro 20 billion and a Tier One ratio of 7.2%, the new Group is well placed for expansion world-wide.
Following BNP's successful offer for Paribas, with more than 65% of Paribas shares tendered to BNP, integration designed to optimise synergies and maximise shareholder value is already under way. This is taking place in a spirit of transparency and fairness. The plan will be published in the next few weeks.
Creating shareholder value
The immediate task is to create shareholder value through cost cutting, re-allocation of capital and sharing of best practice.
BNP has demonstrated its ability to improve ROE. The integration of support services, rationalisation of product portfolios and combining of international activities will improve the quality of services offered to clients and generate significant efficiency gains.
- Re-allocation of capital
BNP-Paribas will focus resources on the most profitable and stable business activities, notably specialised banking services including consumer credit and leasing which will play an important role in the development of the new group.
- Management best practice
The marketing, risk management and lending functions will operate under common principles of best practices.
The enlarged Group faces exciting challenges. The opportunities created by the evolution of the Euro zone, greater competition and the growing pace of consolidation in the banking sector mean that being able to serve clients and shareholders effectively requires critical mass, expertise and commitment. With the skills, experience and dedication of the teams at BNP and Paribas, the new Group is well placed to grow with confidence in the next millennium.