PARIS — French media group Lagardere said Monday it had launched a private sale of the 7.4 percent stake it owns in the European defense and aerospace company EADS.
“At the completion of the sale the Lagardere group will not hold any shares in EADS,” the company said in a statement.
The stake in EADS, which owns passenger aircraft manufacturer Airbus, was worth roughly 2.36 billion euros ($3.1 bn) at the company’s share price on Monday.
Lagardere said the price of the shares in the sale would be announced at the end of the book-building process and the results of the placement would be released after completion.
EADS committed to place an order to buy 500 million euros of its shares, the Lagardere statement said.
The book building and placement was being handled by Bank of America
Merrill Lynch, Societe Generale’s Corporate and Investment Bank, and Credit Agricole’s Corporate and Investment Bank.
Lagardere is in the midst of a restructuring process to reduce debt and improve the market value of its main media assets.
The media company holds magazine titles including Elle and Paris Match, sold off its foreign magazine stable to U.S. media company Hearst in 2011 to 651 million euros.
Last 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 91.4 million euros.
Lagardere also is 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 euros.