Duisburg, 27 November 2012. The Management and Supervisory Boards of Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH have resolved a comprehensive package of measures to reduce the debt position. In a first step, the company’s ownership interest in Celesio AG will be reduced. Around 7.9 million shares are to be placed in the short-term by way of an accelerated bookbuilding to institutional investors. Furthermore, the Supervisory Board approved the sale of roughly 4.24% of Metro shares within the next 18 months which represents a total volume of about 13.7 million shares. The ownership interest in both companies will fall from 54.64% to 50.01% (Celesio AG) and from 34.24% to 30.01% (Metro AG) respectively.
“This is a decisive step for Haniel on its way to significantly reducing our net debt position at holding level as previously announced,” said Haniel CEO Stephan Gemkow. “Given the currently stable market environment and the attractiveness of the company we are confident to place the Celesio shares well on the market.
The position in Metro AG will also be adjusted within the next 18 months. Following the reduction of the stake to 30%, Haniel will remain the largest shareholder.
With the adjustment of the respective stakes, Haniel continues to maintain significant strategic influence at both companies and will continue to pursue its interests in a constructive way. “We are convinced of the sustainable value potential of Metro and Celesio. Therefore, both remain long term core investments in the Haniel portfolio,” said Gemkow. “Haniel’s other business segments CWS-boco, ELG and TAKKT are not part of the adopted package of measures.”
Additional proceeds of about 150 million Euros are to be generated from the sale of non-strategic assets. In the foreseeable future the net debt position should drop well below EUR 2 billion. With this package of measures, Haniel is taking decisive action to reduce debt at holding level and to improve its portfolio balance. This will provide a solid platform for further growth and value generation at the Haniel Group.
Celesio shares will be offered to international institutional investors. The placement is managed by Deutsche Bank AG. Haniel has agreed a lock-up period. In the next six months, the company will not engage in any further stake sales or transactions which could lead to a further reduction in its Celesio holding.