NETHERLANDS – Banking and insurance group Fortis has offered €1.6bn for NIB Capital, the bank owned by the two largest Dutch pension funds, according to Dutch daily Het Financieele Dagblad.

Citing sources close to the take-over talks, the paper said the offer is much lower than the asking price. Civil service scheme ABP and health care scheme PGGM are understood to have put NIB up for sale for €2bn, it was reported.

The protracted negotiations are due to price and the future of NIB Capital’s board members, the paper reports. Fortis is wary of the high pay at NIB Capital, the daily said.

Fortis has made no secret recently that it is on the lookout for acquisitions. It recently bought Turkey’s Disbank and has €4bn available for acquisitions.

Fortis is not the only party interested in NIB Capital. Earlier, the US investment company Cerberus Capital Management and a combination of Lehman Brothers and GE Capital have shown an interest.

The total assets under management at NIB are €5.4bn. It has 86 employees at its investment management arm.