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Lagardere To Sell 7.5% Stake in EADS by End of July

Apr. 5, 2013 - 08:04AM   |  
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PARIS — French media group Lagardere said Friday it plans to sell its 7.5 percent stake in the European defense and aerospace company EADS by the end of July, which would raise roughly 2.5 billion euros ($3.2 billion) at the current share price.

“As previously indicated to the market, a significant portion of the proceeds generated by this disposal would be distributed to Lagardere shareholders,” the company said in a statement.

The company said the sale may or may not fall within the scope of the share buyback program implemented by EADS, and that it had priority to dispose of the shares given its status as having been one of the main investors in the company.

Lagardere is in the midst of a restructuring process that will see it sell the stake in EADS, which owns passenger aircraft manufacturer Airbus, as it seeks to reduce debt and improve the market value of its main media assets.

The media company, which holds magazine titles including Elle and Paris Match, sold off its foreign magazine stable to U.S. media company Hearst in 2011 for 651 million euros.

Earlier this week, it announced the sale of its 25 percent stake in Amaury, the publisher of the Le Parisien newspaper and sports daily L’Equipe, for 91.4million euros.

Lagardere is also looking for a solution for its 20 percent in pay-TV operator Canal+ France and a 42 percent stake in women’s magazine Marie-Claire. The company suffered a 700 million euro loss in 2011 due to the poor performance of its sports assets but rebounded in 2012 with a profit of 89 million.

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