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Budapest court dismisses VIG appeal of acquisition veto

Deals

Austria's Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) on Tuesday said the Budapest Metropolitan Court dismissed its appeal against the Hungarian Interior Ministry's veto of its acquisition of the local business of peer Aegon, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

VIG said in April that its acquisition of Aegon's business in Hungary was denied by the Interior Ministry.

Under state-of-emergency powers vested by parliament, Hungary's government has been equipped with legal tools to block foreign takeovers of domestic companies.

On Tuesday, VIG said it is continuing a "constructive dialogue" with the Finance Ministry on the matter, but added that it will appeal the Budapest court's decision with Hungary's highest court.

"We regret this interim procedural step and will appeal against the decision of the Budapest Metropolitan Court to the Hungarian Supreme Court within the next 30 days. Irrespective of this, we are continuing the constructive dialogue with the Ministry of Finance to clarify possibilities for a positive conclusion of the acquisition," VIG CEO Elisabeth Stadler said.

VIG said in November it agreed to acquire the businesses of Dutch peer Aegon in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Turkey for a price of EUR 830 million. VIG will take over Aegon's general and life insurance companies as well as pension funds, asset management and service companies in the countries. The acquisition would make VIG market leader in Hungary.

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