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Dehaene declares €5.3m stock options

By Toby Vogel   -  05.10.2012 / 17:58 CET
Belgian MEP Jean-Luc Dehaene has added stock options in AB InBev worth more than €5.3 million to his declaration of interest.
Jean-Luc Dehaene, a former prime minister of Belgium who is now a member of the European Parliament, has revised his declaration of interest to the Parliament to add stock options worth more than €5.3 million.  

He has added to a revised declaration of interest received by the European Parliament's administration yesterday (4 October) his share options in AB InBev, a Belgian-Brazilian beer conglomerate, formed in 2004 from the merger of Interbrew and AmBev.  

Dehaene came under criticism earlier this year because he failed to include such stock options in a declaration of interest that he submitted to Parliament's administration in February. Belgian media at the time reported that Dehaene had a right to exercise the options as of April. Dehaene said in the spring that he had declared everything he was obliged to declare.  

Reports in the spring suggested that he held 86,000 stock options, but yesterday's declaration lists 77,000 options. AB InBev shares were trading on the Brussels stock exchange at €69.38 today, which would make the value of Dehaene's options, if exercised, worth €5.34m.  

Dehaene, a Flemish Christian Democrat, who has been an MEP since 2004, was Belgium's prime minister in 1992-99. He was talked about as a possible candidate for the presidency of the European Commission in 1994, but his candidacy was blocked by John Major, the then British prime minister. Dehaene was later a member of the convention on the future of Europe, which drafted the EU's constitutional treaty.  

The European Parliament's code of conduct, which was adopted last November and took effect on 1 January, says that an MEP's declaration of interest shall include “any holding in any company or partnership, where there are potential public policy implications or where that holding gives the Member significant influence over the affairs of the body in question”.  

In his declaration of interest of February, Dehaene had listed his membership of AB InBev's board of directors - for which he was paid between €5,001 and €10,000 a month - but not the stock options in the company.  

His business interests have come under close scrutiny in recent months in Belgium because in 2008 he became chairman of the board of Dexia, the troubled Franco-Belgian savings bank, which eventually had to be dismantled and bailed out.
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