French media group Lagardere said on Monday it made a capital gain of €1.8 billion (Dh8.66 billion or $2.35 billion) for the sale of a 7.4 percent stake in the European defence and aerospace company EADS.
The company said the sale last week had been completed with the transfer of the shares and that it had received €2.28 billion, which following taxes and transaction costs, resulted in a capital gain of €1.8 billion.
“As previously indicated, the Lagardere group plans to divide the proceeds from the disposal between, firstly, a one-time premium for all Group employees, secondly a reduction of the Group’s debt, and finally a one-time exceptional dividend for shareholders,” the company said in a statement.
Lagardere is in the midst of a restructuring process to reduce debt and improve the market value of its main media assets.
The media company holds magazine titles including Elle and Paris Match, but sold off its foreign magazine stable to US media company Hearst in 2011 to €651 million.
Earlier this month it announced the sale of its 25 per cent stake in Amaury, the publisher of the Le Parisien newspaper and sports daily L’Equipe, for €91.4 million.
Lagardere is also looking for a solution for its 20 per cent in pay-TV operator Canal+ France and a 42 per cent stake in women’s magazine Marie-Claire.
Lagardere group said it is also “reasserting its growth strategy, aiming to increase its exposure to developing activities (specifically travel retail, digital, and rights management), which could result in targeted acquisitions when opportunities will arise.”
The company suffered a €700 million loss in 2011 due to the poor performance of its sports assets, but rebounded in 2012 with a profit of €89 million.