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Pernod-Ricard Shareholder GBL Sells EU499 Million in Stoc

Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA, the investment firm controlled by billionaires Albert Frere and Paul Desmarais, sold 6.2 million shares of Pernod-Ricard SA for 499 million euros ($650 million).

The shares were sold for 80.60 euros apiece, a person familiar with the transaction said. That’s at the low end of a range of 80.60 euros to 82.10 euros each shown in a term sheet obtained by Bloomberg News. Societe Generale SA and BNP Paribas SA managed the sale.

Pernod-Ricard shares fell as much as 3.8 percent and were down 3.1 percent at 79.52 euros as of 9:57 a.m. in Brussels. GBL, which said in a statement it made a capital gain of about 240 million euros on the sale, rose 1.2 percent to 57.90 euros.

The offering of 2.3 percent of Pernod-Ricard, a Paris-based wine and spirits producer, is at least the second sale by GBL this week. The Belgian holding company made a capital gain of about 220 million euros selling its 10 percent stake in French chemical manufacturer Arkema SA, according to an e-mailed statement yesterday from GBL. The investment firm also holds shares of French companies Total SA, LaFarge SA and GDF Suez.

GBL increased its distribution of cash earnings to the highest level in 10 years and proposed raising its dividend 2.4 percent to 2.6 euros a share, according to a March 6 statement. That’s the smallest dividend increase since 1997, Bloomberg data show.

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