Lagardere Exits Entire EADS Stake for About $2.9 Billion

Lagardere SCA has exited its stake in European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. through a share sale valued at about 2.3 billion euros ($2.9 billion).

The 61 million shares, or a 7.4 percent stake, were sold for about 2.3 billion euros, Lagardere said in a statement today. The shares were sold at 37.35 euros apiece, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. They were initially offered for between 37.35 euros and 37.95 euros apiece.

EADS, Europe’s largest aerospace company, took part in the sale launched yesterday and bought 1.6 percent of its own shares for 500 million euros, it said in a separate statement today.

Lagardere, a Paris-based media company, said on April 5 that it would dispose its stake in EADS by July 31. The EADS board appointed Denis Ranque as chairman and supported a 3.75 billion-euro stock buyback on April 2.

Additional share sales, including accelerated transactions, have raised $24.8 billion in Europe, the Middle East and Africa this year, compared with $17.5 billion sold in the same period in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

EADS shares were down 1.74 percent to 38.03 euros at 10:29 a.m. in Paris, after initially falling as much as 4.6 percent.

Societe Generale SA, Credit Agricole SA and Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit offered EADS shares for Lagardere’s holding unit Sogeade, according to terms of the sale. Sogeade has managed the stakes of the French state and Lagardere.

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