EXOR has entered into a definitive agreement providing for the sale of 1,173,400 shares of SGS to Serena S.à r.l., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL) for a consideration of CHF 2,128 per share. The transaction will generate net proceeds of € 2.0 billion for EXOR and a capital gain at consolidated level of around € 1,530 million.
The shares, representing 15% of the share capital of SGS, constitute the entire stake of EXOR in SGS. The sale and purchase agreement is expected to be settled by June 10.EXOR (directly and through its predecessor entities) has been a shareholder of SGS for over 13 years, with representation on the board of directors throughout this period. At the time of EXOR’s initial investment in SGS in 2000, the company’s revenues and operating income stood at CHF 2.4 billion and CHF 154 million, respectively. Since then, SGS has grown and consolidated its position as the world's leading certification, inspection and testing company, with revenues and operating income rising to CHF 5.6 billion and CHF 941 million respectively. Over the same period, SGS’s market capitalization has increased approximately four fold. EXOR is proud to have been able to support SGS throughout this period of outstanding consolidation in its competitive position and accompanying growth in its value for all its shareholders.The shares being sold represent approximately 19% of EXOR’s gross asset value as at today. The transaction forms part of its stated strategy of portfolio evaluation and optimization; the proceeds of the sale will be deployed, over time, in new investment opportunities consistent with EXOR’s investment strategy.
Commenting on the transaction, John Elkann, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EXOR, said:
“We have been delighted with our investment in SGS, which has long constituted for us a blueprint for the kind of outstanding company and management team with which we seek to be associated. We have been privileged to have been able to support SGS throughout these past 13 years and we are confident the company will continue to develop and prosper. It will also benefit from the ongoing engagement of its Chairman Sergio Marchionne, CEO Chris Kirk and the operations council, as well as the support of the von Finck family and now GBL, for whom we have great respect as an investor. GBL and its controlling shareholders – the Desmarais and Frère families, whom I know well – will be fully supportive of the next phase of development at SGS.”
EXOR (Bloomberg: EXO IM, Reuters: EXOR.MI) is one of Europe’s leading investment companies and is controlled by the Agnelli Family. With a NAV (Net Asset Value) of € 9 billion, EXOR makes long-term investments focused on global companies in diversified sectors, mainly in Europe and the United States. For further information: www.exor.com