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Belgian tycoon to step down as head of GBL group

Belgian tycoon Albert Frere has decided to step down as director and chief executive officer of industrial holding company Bruxelles Lambert (GBL), the group announced Monday.

GBL is the flagship holding company of Albert Frere, who will turn 89 on Wednesday. It has stakes in top French firms Total, GDF Suez, Suez-Environnement, Pernod Ricard and Lafarge.

Frere has asked that shareholders approve his decision at their regular meeting set for April 28, the group said in a statement.

It said the transition was already prepared in 2012 with Ian Gallienne and Gerard Lamarche appointed managing directors, who “will continue to assume together the daily management of the company.”

As co-controlling shareholder, Frere stressed that he would remain “deeply attached to the group” and follow its activities and developments closely.