Sacyr sells stake in Eiffage for EUR 1.92b

18th April 2008, Comments 0 comments

The Spanish group sold 33.32 percent stake in France's Eiffage, putting an end to the two-year-battle between the companies.

18 April 2008
MADRID - Spanish construction group Saycr Vallehermoso said Thursday it had sold its 33.32 percent stake in Eiffage of France for EUR 1.92 billion.

It said the deal would put an end to a two-year battle by Sacyr to take over Eiffage, the third-biggest French public works group and the sixth largest in Europe.

Eiffage had been determined not to fall into the hands of its Spanish rival.

Sacyr said it has sold its Eiffage stake to a group of French institutional investors for EUR 62 per share.

"Today, April 17, Sacyr Vallehermoso has sold all of the shares it holds in Eiffage to a group of French institutional investors -- with the agreement of Eiffage -- for EUR 1.92 billion, or EUR 62 per share," the company said in a statement to Madrid's stock market regulator.

The Caisse des Depots bought 10.95 percent and Groupama 3.0 percent. The other investors were not announced, but a source close to the deal in Paris identified them as Societe Generale, Natixis, Credit Mutuel-CIC, CNP Assurances and BNP Paribas.

The sale "puts an end to a conflict situation which has dragged on, and will allow Sacyr to devote itself to other initiatives," Sacyr said.

Under the deal signed Thursday, the two sides agreed to "withdraw legal proceedings that they have launched against each other, including a complaint filed by Eiffage ... that has resulted in a criminal investigation" by a Paris judge, it said.

However, a withdrawal of the complaint would not automatically end the Paris court proceedings.

The Paris judge on Tuesday charged Sacyr and its chairman Luis del Rivero with alleged distribution of false information and with failing to declare "a stake increase" in Eiffage.

Sacyr said proceeds from the sale will go toward the cancellation of loans that were financing the investment in Eiffage and which on 21 December amounted to EUR 1.713 billion, and the rest will go toward reducing the company's debt.

[AFP / Expatica]

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