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Lagardere Books 1.8B Euros From EADS Share Sale

Apr. 15, 2013 - 07:18AM   |  
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PARIS — French media group Lagardere said Monday it made a capital gain of 1.8 billion euros ($2.35 billion) for the sale of a 7.4 percent stake in the European defense and aerospace company EADS.

The company said the sale last week had been completed with the transfer of the shares and that it had received 2.28 billion euros, which, following taxes and transaction costs, resulted in a capital gain of 1.8 billion euros.

“As previously indicated, the Lagardere group plans to divide the proceeds from the disposal between, firstly, a one-time premium for all Group employees, secondly a reduction of the Group’s debt, and finally a one-time exceptional dividend for shareholders,” the company said in a statement.

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, but sold off its foreign magazine stable to U.S. media company Hearst in 2011 for 651 million euros.

Earlier this month, 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 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.

Lagardere group said it is also “reasserting its growth strategy, aiming to increase its exposure to developing activities (specifically travel retail, digital, and rights management), which could result in targeted acquisitions when opportunities will arise.”

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.

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