On Thursday 11 July 2013 the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal ruled on the compensation offered by the Dutch Minister of Finance in relation to the expropriation by the Dutch State of shares and subordinated debt issued by the SNS Reaal Group.
In our newsflash of 4 February 2013 we reported on the nationalisation on 1 February 2013 of the SNS Reaal Group as first-time application of the Dutch Intervention Act. On 25 February 2013 the Dutch Council of State ruled in relation to this nationalisation that the Dutch Minister of Finance was entitled to expropriate the shares and subordinated debt, but not future claims. As envisaged in the Dutch Intervention Act as a next step the Dutch Minister of Finance made a compensation offer to holders of the expropriated financial instruments. This offer amounted to EUR 0,00 per financial instrument, because, according to the Dutch Minister of Finance, without the expropriation the SNS Reaal Group would have gone bankrupt. In accordance with the Dutch Intervention Act, the Dutch Minister of Finance requested the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal to set the compensation in accordance with his offer. Investors filed an appeal against this with the Enterprise Chamber.
The Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal now has ruled that the reasoning of the Dutch Minister of Finance underlying the compensation offer was too poor and that it will appoint experts which are to assess the proper value of the expropriated financial instruments. The Enterprise Chamber indicated in its judgment that it considers it likely that such experts will determine a value of the expropriated financial instruments exceeding EUR 0,00, in other words: that investors will be entitled to some form of compensation.
The Dutch State may file an interim appeal with the Supreme Court against this judgment of the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal.