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· On 29 April 2002, BNP PARIBAS GROUP and its subsidiary Cortal signed an agreement with SchmidtBank, majority shareholder of Consors, to acquire SchmidtBank's 66.43% equity interest in Consors for euro 287 million. A public offer will be made to purchase the remaining equity interests in Consors. Assuming purchase of the entire share capital and in accordance with German regulations for takeover bids, the total price will be euro 485 million or euro 857 per account. The acquisition is subject to approval by the German banking authorities.
· This acquisition and the integration of two leading brokers will give birth to the leading European specialist in personal investments with 1.2 million customers and euro 14 billion of assets under management. Cortal, which has been profitable each year since 1989, is N°1 on its market in France based on number of customers and on Net Banking Income, while Consors, established in 1994, is the second largest broker in Germany based on trading volumes and on Net Banking Income.
· The integration of Cortal and Consors will be backed by an industrial project promoting the people and the strengths of both companies. It will enable Consors to pursue development in fair terms for its employees, and will create shareholder value and new opportunities for its clients. BNP Paribas has considerable experience in amicable mergers in Europe and worldwide. The succesful merger between BNP and Paribas gave birth to one of the top banking and financial services groups in the Euro zone. A series of friendly mergers also placed BNP Paribas as a major player in retail banking in the Western part of the United States.
· The new company resulting from the integration of Consors and Cortal will operate under a single brand. Until the results of brand studies in Europe are available, the new group will be called CortalConsors.