Exor sells 15% SGS stake for 2 bn euros to Belgium's GBL

Agnelli family holding cedes Swiss certification company stake

Exor sells 15% SGS stake for 2 bn euros to Belgium's GBL

Turin, June 3 - Exor S.p.A., the holding company for the vast assets of the Agnelli family - the dynasty behind Fiat automobiles - announced on Monday it is ceding its entire 15% stake in the Swiss inspection and certification company SGS S.A. to the Belgian holding Groupe Bruxelles Lambert S.A. (GBL) for two billion euros. Exor will see a consolidated capital gain of about 1.5 billion euros from the deal. Exor began investing in SGS in 2000 and has had a consistent presence on its board of directors over the last 13 years. Over that time, SGS turnover has grown from 2.4 billion to 5.6 billion Swiss francs, and its operating margin has risen from 154 million to 941 million Swiss francs. SGS capitalization has roughly quadrupled in that time and consolidated its position as global leader in the inspection and certification sector. Exor said it intended to use the proceeds for further investment, and said it was proud to have supported the company over the years, as it consolidated its competitive positioning and built value for its shareholders. The late Umberto Agnelli - who managed the Agnelli family’s investment portfolio at Exor’s predecessor holding company IFIL - in 2000 sounded out Sergio Marchionne to spearhead a turnaround at SGS S.A., which had just suffered a heavy loss of Swiss government contracts, according to the book “Mondo Agnelli: Fiat, Chrysler, and the Power of a Dynasty” by Jennifer Clark. Marchionne joined SGS as a board member in 2001 and as CEO in 2002, Clark wrote, and then recruited from SGS to head Fiat in 2004. Marchionne is currently SGS chairman and will remain in his post after the change in stakeholders of reference, SGS announced. The transaction is expected to be finalized by June 10. Exor is selling 1,173,400 shares in SGS for 2,128 Swiss Francs per share to the company Serena, entirely owned by GBL. GBL is a Belgian industrial holding company and has been listed in Brussels since 1956. It is one of Belgium’s ten largest companies and is part of the BEL20 index.

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