THE EUROPEAN Commission has launched formal state aid investigations into the purchase of overpriced shares by the Walloon regional government, of Belgium, from the Flemish carpet manufacturer Beaulieu.

Officials consider that the payment was in effect a debt write-off, as Beaulieu settled a debt of BEF 113.7 million owed to the regional government by transferring 9,704 shares in the Holding Verlipack II company, also of Belgium. Their nominal value was BEF 100 million, but the Commission claims that their real value was significantly ...

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