Chargeurs split fuels media rumours
Wednesday 28 February 1996
Demerger mania crossed the Channel yesterday, as the holding company Chargeurs unveiled a radical split of its media and industrial operations.
Chargeurs, which has a 17.8 per cent stake in UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB, firmly denied market rumours that it intended to sell the holding. Speculation in advance of the demerger announcement helped push BSkyB shares up 21p in frantic trading.
Once details of the split were announced in Paris, the BSkyB shares dropped sharply back, but none the less ended the day 51/2p higher at 3981/2p.
Chargeurs, one of the continent's leading media players, also has investments in textiles and transport, which have reduced the stock's attractiveness, according to media analysts.
But difficulties in the publishing and television sector, including a restructuring charge of 120m FF taken by ailing French newspaper Liberation, were behind the company's losses of 575m FF in 1995, unveiled yesterday.
In a statement, the company said the demerger proposals, which have been approved by French tax authorities and expected to be "tax-neutral'', followed "an assessment by Chargeurs of the necessity to clarify and strengthen the development prospects specific to each of its major sectors of activity."
The company added that the demerged companies would be able to focus more clearly on strategic and competitive issues.
Under the terms of the demerger proposal, Chargeurs shareholders will get one share in Pathe, the new media and television company, and one share in Chargeurs International, the industrial arm, for every share they current hold. The BSkyB stake, inherited following the merger of Rupert Murdoch's Sky Television and BSB, co-owned by Chargeurs, is to remain with Pathe.
Chargeurs bought control of Pathe Cinema in 1990, beating controversial Italian financier Giancarlo Parretti, who later bought the Hollywood studio MGM.
Chargeurs' main shareholder, Jerome Seydoux, who speaks for 29 per cent family stake, has agreed not to sell shares in the company for at least five years. He is to become chairman of Pathe, which already groups the company's cinema interests.
Despite its loss-making status, the company has been rumoured as a buyer for CLT, the Luxembourg-based broadcaster whose name has also been linked with BSkyB. CLT's major shareholder, Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, is believed to be prepared to sell the stake.
Chargeurs is expected to take part in the consolidation of the continental television market, which may see a concentration in the areas of digital broadcasting and pay-TV. The company yesterday helped fuel speculation that it would seek partners to expand in the media sector, when it said the demerger would "open up the possibility of forging partnerships".
BSkyB is believed to be among those companies looking at opportunities to expand on the Continent.
- 1 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install the update
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 5 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Khorasan: Muhsin al-Fadhli - the man leading a terror group more feared by US officials than Isis
'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
Alicia Keys leaks own nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
iJobs Money & Business
£65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...