The French Arnaud restructures his Lagardere holdings

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of the French media group Lagardere is seen during the group's annual general meeting in Paris, France, May 3, 2016. REUTERS / Benoit Tessier / File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) – French media and publishing company Lagardere announced on Wednesday that Financière Agache, a holding company owned by French luxury goods billionaire Bernard Arnault, announced its option to sell all of its stake in Lagardère Capital in exchange for Lagardère SA shares has exercised capital of Lagardère.

Lagardere said in a statement that the transaction, which will be carried out through an unequal reduction in the share capital of Lagardère Capital, is expected to be completed by early October at the latest. It also said that a shareholders' agreement between the parties will be terminated.

Lagardere said that under this shareholder agreement, Financière Agache will receive 3.9 million shares of Lagardère SA currently held by Lagardère Capital in exchange for its stake in Lagardère Capital.

With the deal, Arnault untangles his stake in the Arnaud Lagardère holding company in exchange for shares directly in the media and publishing group.

This increases its stake in Lagardere from currently less than 8% to just under 10%.

Arnault had originally invested to help Arnaud Lagardère defend an activist fund, but it was sidelined after billionaire Vincent Bollore eventually became Lagardere's major shareholder.

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