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Eurazeo Falls as Largest Investor Agricole Cuts Stake

Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) -- French private-equity firm Eurazeo SA declined in Paris as Credit Agricole SA, its largest shareholder, is cutting its stake by more than half through a private share sale and a three-year bond issue.

Eurazeo dropped as much as 5.1 percent and was down 4.5 percent at 53.51 euros by 10:35 a.m. local time, giving the company a market value of about 3.7 billion euros ($5 billion). Credit Agricole was almost unchanged at 8.83 euros.

Credit Agricole, France’s third-largest bank by market value, is raising 174 million euros by selling 4.7 percent of Eurazeo, the Montrouge-based lender said in an e-mailed statement today. Credit Agricole also issued zero-coupon bonds exchangeable in Eurazeo shares in 2016 for an initial amount of 293 million euros. The bond issue may increase by 15 percent to a maximum of 337 million euros.

“The proceeds from the share placement and the bond issue will be used for general corporate purposes,” the bank said.

The bonds have a price of 66.31 euros apiece, 22 percent less than the shares placement’s price, Credit Agricole’s said. The sale of Paris-based Eurazeo shares is scheduled for Nov. 27, while the bonds are to start trading on the Luxembourg’s Euro MTF market on Dec. 6, the lender said.

Credit Agricole owns 17.4 percent of Eurazeo, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The bank agreed to a 90-day lock-up on its remaining Eurazeo shares, the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fabio Benedetti-Valentini in Paris at fabiobv@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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