Belgian firm buys stake in Geneva's SGS

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected] • 3 Jun, 2013 Updated Mon 3 Jun 2013 10:47 CEST
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Belgian industrial holding company Bruxelles Lambert (GBL) is buying a 15-percent stake in Geneva-based testing and inspection services group SGS for two billion euros ($2.6 billion).

GBL, owned by billionaire tycoon Albert Frère, said in a statement on Monday that its wholly-owned subsidiary Serena will buy the 15-percent stake currently owned by EXOR, the investment company that controls automaker Fiat-Chrysler.
   
SGS is the world's leading testing, inspection and certification 
company, with more than 75,000 employees worldwide.
   
The Swiss company generated sales of 5.6 billion francs in 2012 and has a market 
capitalization of approximately 16.9 billion francs.
   
"SGS is the leader in an attractive industry (and) offers substantial 
growth potential, both organically and through market consolidation," GBL said.
   
The acquisition will be financed using part of the GBL's existing cash.


Following the acquisition, GBL will remain with a gross cash position of one billion euros and confirmed undrawn credit lines of 1.2 billion euros, it said.

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