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  • 2018 Sale

    Sale of 6.6% of Burberry’s capital

    8/05/2018 - Sale of GBL's entire stake in Burberry. The proceeds from the disposal amount to approximately GBP 498 million, generating a capital gain of approximately GBP 83 million. This capital gain will not impact GBL’s consolidated net result following the entry into force of IFRS 9.

  • 2018 Acquisition

    Increase in the stake in GEA

    On 3 April 2018, GEA Group (“GEA”) declared that, on 23 March 2018, GBL had crossed the 5.0% threshold in the company’s voting rights. At 31 March 2018, GBL held 5.25% of the capital (4.25% at 31 December 2017), with a market value of EUR 349 million.

  • 2018 Acquisition

    Commitment of Sienna Capital to invest in Flora Food Group

    On 8 March 2018, GBL, through its subsidiary Sienna Capital, committed to invest EUR 250 million alongside funds affiliated with the investment firm KKR in Flora Food Group (“FFG”), Unilever’s Spreads Business. Completion of the transaction is expected mid-2018, subject to certain regulatory approvals and employee consultations in certain jurisdictions.

  • 2018 Acquisition

    Participation of GBL in the capital increase of Umicore

    On 8 February 2018, Umicore announced a EUR 892 million capital increase aiming at financing its growth investments. The proceeds of the placement will also provide the group with more financial flexibility in support of external growth operations and potential partnerships enabling to strengthen its offering in clean mobility materials and recycling. GBL confirmed its full support to the group by participating in this capital raising for EUR 144 million. Consecutive to this transaction, GBL remains Umicore’s largest shareholder with an ownership of 16.93%, vs. 17.01% before the capital increase. At 31 March 2018, GBL's interest in Umicore’s capital was valued at EUR 1,791 million.

  • 2017 Acquisition

    Equity investment in Burberry

    Burberry Group Plc (“Burberry”) communicated on 10 November 2017 the crossing by GBL of the 6.0% threshold in the voting rights of the company. Having further increased its stake in Burberry, GBL holds 6.46% of this company’s capital at year-end 2017.

  • 2017 Acquisition

    Distribution of EUR 100 million by Kartesia's KCO III fund

    At 30 September 2017, Kartesia’s KCO III fund is fully invested and distributed a total amount of EUR 100 million, representing around 21% of the called capital.

  • 2017 Acquisition

    Sienna Capital : new commitment in Backed 1 LP

    On 29 September 2017, Sienna Capital committed EUR 25 million in Backed 1 LP (« Backed »), a venture capital fund based in London, specialized in the sector of new digital technologies.

  • 2017 Acquisition

    Acquisition by ECP III of a majority stake in Keesing Media Group

    In September 2017, ECP III acquired a majority stake in Keesing Media Group (« Keesing »), the leading European publisher of games and puzzle magazines, from Telegraaf Media Group. The acquisition price for ECP III amounts to EUR 34 million.

  • 2017 Acquisition

    Equity investment in GEA

    GEA Group (“GEA”) announced on 3 August 2017 that GBL had crossed the 3.0% threshold in the voting rights of the company. As of 31 December 2017, GBL holds 4.25% of the company’s capital.

  • 2017 Sale

    Sale by ECP III to PAI Partners of its majority stake in ELITech

    In July 2017, ECP III sold to PAI Partners its majority stake in ELITech, a manufacturer of specialty in-vitro diagnostics equipment and reagents. This transaction generated a net consolidated capital gain on disposal of EUR 104 million (GBL’s share).

  • 2017 Acquisition

    Expected performance of KCO III in line with target returns

    At 30 June 2017, Kartesia Credit Opportunities (KCO III) is now fully invested in primary and secondary transactions and has distributed to its investors a total amount of EUR 84 million, representing c.18% of capital called

  • 2017 Acquisition

    Acquisition of Xeris & Ivantis

    • Acquisition by Mérieux Participations II (MP II) of a minority stake in Xeris Pharmaceuticals Inc. : biopharmaceutical company developing injectable therapeutics for  multiple indications including diabetes
    • Acquisition by MP II of a minority stake in Ivantis Inc., a company dedicated to the development of new and innovative solutions for glaucoma

  • 2017

    Success of the inaugural institutional bond issue

    • EUR 500 million bond issue, with a coupon of 1.375% and maturing on 23 May 2024
    • Issuance allowing GBL to reinforce its liquidity profile, lengthen the debt maturity profile from 1.3 years at year-end 2016 to 3.5 years at end of June 2017 and further diversify its financing sources by successfully establishing the group’s credit quality on the institutional bond market
    • Oversubscription of almost 3 times by a diversified base of primarily French, Belgian and Anglo-Saxon institutional investors

  • 2017 Sale

    Disposal of ELITech

    • ECP III reached an agreement with PAI Partners for the sale of ELITech Group, a manufacturer of specialty in-vitro diagnostics equipment and reagents
    • Estimated net consolidated capital gain on disposal of EUR 102 million (GBL’s share)

  • 2017 Acquisition

    Equity investment in Parques Reunidos

    On 12 April 2017, GBL announced the acquisition of a 15.00% participation in the capital of Parques Reunidos Servicios Centrales, S.A. (“Parques Reunidos”). On 25 April 2017, Parques Reunidos co-opted a representative of GBL in the Board of Directors. GBL has subsequently increased its participation to 21.19%.

  • 2017 Acquisition

    Participation of GBL in the capital increase of Ontex

    In March 2017, GBL participated in the capital increase of Ontex that aims to refinance the company following the acquisition of the “hygienic consumables” activity of Hypermarcas. Following this operation, the holding percentage of GBL remains unchanged at 19.98%. Furthermore, the appointment of Michael Bredael as the GBL representative to the Board of Directors will be proposed to the General Shareholders’ Meeting of Ontex of 24 May.

  • 2017 Acquisition

    Participation of GBL in the capital increase of Ontex

    In March 2017, GBL participated in the EUR 221 million capital increase carried out by Ontex following the acquisition of the “hygienic consumables” activity of Hypermarcas, consecutively maintaining its shareholding unchanged at 19.98%. Furthermore, the General Shareholders’ Meeting of Ontex of 24 May 2017 approved the appointment of a representative of GBL to the Board of Directors.

  • 2017 Acquisition

    Investment in Burberry

    On 28 February 2017, Burberry Group Plc (« Burberry ») announced that GBL had crossed the threshold of 3% of voting rights in the company. The investment in Burberry is aligned with GBL’s portfolio diversification strategy. At 31 March 2017, GBL held 3.0% of the capital of this company, representing a market value of EUR 266 million. Listed on the London Stock Exchange, Burberry has a market capitalisation of around EUR 9 billion at 31 March 2017. Burberry, a luxury British brand, specialises in the design, manufacture and marketing of high-end clothing and accessories. These products are distributed worldwide through its own stores, its website ( and its network of third party retailers. Burberry employs almost 11,000 people and its turnover for the 2015-2016 financial year stood at around GBP 2.5 billion.

  • 2017 Acquisition

    Increase of voting rights in Pernod Ricard

    On 21 February 2017, GBL announced that it holds 10.6% of voting rights in Pernod Ricard (for a stake in capital of 7.5%). This passive crossing of the 10% threshold is the result of the allocation of double voting rights.

  • 2017 Sale

    Sale of the stake in Golden Goose

    In February 2017, ECP III signed an agreement in relation to the disposal of its majority stake in Golden Goose, an Italian designer of contemporary footwear, clothing and accessories. This transaction, completed at the beginning of March 2017, generated a net consolidated capital gain on disposal of EUR 112 million (GBL’s share).

  • 2017 Sale

    Further divestment of ENGIE

    On 7 February 2017, GBL redeemed in cash the balance of the bonds exchangeable into ENGIE shares, i.e. an amount of EUR 306 million. During the first quarter of 2017, GBL also sold the balance of ENGIE shares underlying the bonds exchangeable into ENGIE shares (i.e. 11.9 million shares or 0.5% of the capital for EUR 145 million), generating a consolidated gain of EUR 1 million. GBL’s residual stake in ENGIE therefore stands at 0.1% of the capital at 30 June 2017 (or 2 million shares).

  • 2017 Acquisition

    Acquisition of a stake in Ipackchem by Sagard

    In February 2017, Sagard 3 acquired a stake in Ipackchem, one of the global leaders in the manufacturing of “barrier” packaging, whose products are mainly used in the transport and storage of aromas, fragrances and agrochemical products for which permeability, contamination and evaporation constraints are critical.

  • 2017 Acquisition

    First closing of the new investment fund KCO IV from Kartesia

    In 2016, Kartesia launched a new investment fund, KCO IV, in which Sienna Capital is committed for EUR 150 million. The first closing took place on 22 February 2017. At 30 September 2017, the total fund commitment amounts to EUR 770 million and KCO IV is invested at around 34%.

  • 2016 Acquisition

    Six new investments for PrimeStone

    In 2016, PrimeStone completed six new investments. Among others, it invested in (i) Volution, a supplier of ventilation systems, and (ii) Johnson Services Group, a provider of textile-related services to corporates and consumers in the United Kingdom.

  • 2016 Sale

    Sale of 16.0 million Total shares

    During the fourth quarter of 2016, GBL disposed, at the maturity of the forward sales, of 16.0 million shares (or 0.7% of the capital) for a net amount of EUR 666 million, which generated a consolidated capital gain of EUR 304 million.

  • 2016 Acquisition

    Acquisition of Deutsche Intensivpflege Holding GmbH (DIH)

    In December 2016, ECP III acquired an indirect majority stake in the company Deutsche Intensivpflege Holding GmbH (DIH), one of the main providers in outpatient intensive care services in Germany.

  • 2016 Acquisition

    Stake in adidas increased to 7.5%

    GBL pursued increasing its stake in adidas. At 31 December 2016, GBL held 7.5% of this company (4.7% at end of December 2015), for a market value of EUR 2.4 billion.

  • 2016 Acquisition

    Investment in Burberry

    At 31 December 2016, GBL held 2.95% of the capital of this company, representing a market value of
    EUR 230 million.

  • 2016 Acquisition

    Contemplated acquisition of Kerneos by Imerys

    On 11 December 2016, Imerys announced the contemplated acquisition of Kerneos, global leader in calcium aluminate based high performance binders, from Astorg for a total amount estimated in enterprise value of EUR 880 million. This transaction, entirely financed by available resources of Imerys, remains subject to consultation of staff representation bodies as well as to approval by regulatory authorities concerned.

  • 2016 Acquisition

    Increase in the stake in SGS

    At 31 December 2016, GBL held 16.2% of this company (15.0% at end of December 2015), for a market value of EUR 2.4 billion.

  • 2016 Acquisition

    Significant increase in the stake in Ontex

    At 31 December 2016, GBL held 19.98% of the capital (7.6% at 31 December 2015), representing a market value of EUR 423 million.

  • 2016 Sale

    Partial divestment of ENGIE

    During the fourth quarter of 2016, GBL disposed, at the maturity of the forward sales, of 42.7 million shares for a net amount of EUR 572 million, generating a consolidated capital loss of EUR 11 million. Forward sales concerning 4.5 million shares were also concluded during the fourth quarter for a net amount of
    EUR 55 million. These will generate, at their maturity, in January 2017, a nil result.

  • 2016 Acquisition

    Acquisitions by Mérieux Développement

    In June 2016, Mérieux Développement via Mérieux Participations II (MP II) acquired a minority stake for
    EUR 22 million in Novacap, an international player in the chemical field. MP II also acquired, in November 2016, a minority stake for a total amount of EUR 15 million in Le Noble Age (LNA), active in the healthcare sector.

  • 2016 Acquisition

    Fund-raising by Sagard 3

    During the fourth quarter of 2016, Sagard 3 raised EUR 404 million in additional capital, subscribed by Sienna Capital for EUR 17 million, as well as by nine other European institutional investors.

  • 2016 Sale

    Sale of FläktWoods

    Sagard and Equistone signed an agreement to sell FläktWoods to Triton. This transaction was completed in October 2016 and generated a consolidated capital gain of EUR 12 million (GBL share).

  • 2016 Acquisition

    Umicore becomes a Strategic Investment

    The investment in Umicore has become Strategic as its market value now exceeds one billion euros (EUR 1.1 billion at 30 September 2016).
    GBL slightly increased its stake in Umicore and held 17.0% of the capital at 30 September 2016 (16.6% at end December 2015), for a market value of EUR 1.1 billion. On 26 April 2016, the General Shareholders’ Meeting of Umicore appointed Colin Hall as a Director, conferring on GBL a second representative on the Board of Directors. Given the size of this investment and the representation of GBL on the Board of Directors, Umicore is now considered a Strategic Investment.

  • 2016 Acquisition

    EUR 468 million invested by Kartesia since inception

    At 31 December 2016, through its fund KCO I renamed KCO III, Kartesia invested EUR 468 million in primary and secondary transactions.

  • 2016 Acquisition

    Launch of a new fund by Kartesia

    Kartesia launched a new investment fund (KCO IV), in which Sienna Capital committed an amount of
    EUR 150 million.

  • 2016 Acquisition

    Buy-back of exchangeable bonds into ENGIE shares

    Throughout 2016, GBL repurchased 6,910 bonds exchangeable into ENGIE shares for a nominal value of EUR 691 million.

  • 2016 Acquisition

    Fund raising by ECP III

    In July 2016, ECP III raised EUR 150 million, increasing the size of the fund to EUR 500 million. This fund raising was subscribed by Sienna Capital for EUR 100 million, as well as by other leading European institutional investors.

  • 2016 Acquisition

    adidas becomes a Strategic Investment

    • Strengthening of the position in adidas, at 7.2% of the capital at 30 June 2016 (4.7% at end December 2015), for a market value of EUR 1,933 million
    • Entrance of Ian Gallienne into the Supervisory Board of the company

  • 2016 Sale

    Sale of De Boeck and Larcier

    During the second quarter of 2016, Ergon Capital Partners III concluded agreements regarding the sale of De Boeck Education S.A., De Boeck Digital S.A. and Larcier Holding S.A., generating a capital gain on disposals of EUR 51 million (attributable to GBL).

  • 2016 Sale

    Sale of a 1.1% interest in Total during the first quarter of 2016

    During the first quarter of 2016, GBL sold an additional fraction of Total shares representing 1.1% of this group’s capital (27.5 million shares for a gross amount of EUR 1.1 billion) and generating a consolidated capital gain of EUR 428 million. These disposals were carried out, on the one hand, through sales in the market (10.4 million shares) and, on the other hand, through a private placement by means of an accelerated bookbuilding reserved for institutional investors (17.1 million shares).

  • 2016 Acquisition

    Acquisition of a stake in Prosol by Sagard

    On 25 March 2016, a group of investors led by Sagard announced that they had signed an agreement with Denis Dumont, founder of and majority shareholder in Grand Frais, to acquire a minority stake in Prosol, the parent company of the group. Grand Frais is a French chain of stores specialised in the sale of fresh products.

  • 2016 Acquisition

    BDT Capital Partners' new acquisitions

    In March 2016, in partnership with the majority shareholder JAB Holding Co, BDT Capital Partners finalised the acquisition of Keurig Green Mountain via its Fund II. With a panel of more than 80 brands and 575 specialty beverages, Keurig is a group specialised in coffee and personalised beverage systems. In October 2016, BDT Capital Partners II acquired a majority stake in Lou Maluti’s Pizzeria, a famous Chicago-style pizza brand. In December 2016, BDT Capital Partners II invested in Athletico Physical Therapy, one of the main providers of orthopaedic rehabilitation services in the US.

  • 2016 Acquisition

    Acquisition of a stake in Looping by ECP III

    On 1 March 2016 Ergon Capital Partners III acquired an indirect majority stake in Financière Looping Holding S.A.S. (“Looping”), an amusement park operator. Looping generates turnover of around EUR 60 million and is a European leader on the amusement park market.

  • 2015 Acquisition

    Commitment of EUR 113 million by Sienna Capital in BDT Capital Partners

    In December 2015, commitment of EUR 113 million by Sienna Capital into BDT Capital Partners II (EUR 18 million paid in 2015), a fund managing approximately USD 6 billion.

  • 2015 Acquisition

    Investment in Ontex

    Acquisition of a 7.6% stake in the capital of the Belgian listed company Ontex, a major player in the disposable personal hygiene products market. At 31 December 2015, this represented a value of EUR 181 million.

  • 2015 Acquisition

    Strengthening of the stake in Umicore

    Increasing stake in Umicore, holding 16.6% of the capital at 31 December 2015 (12.4% at end of December 2014), representing a market value of EUR 720 million.

  • 2015 Sale

    Disposal of Total shares

    Disposal of 12.1 million Total shares for EUR 556 million during 2015, generating a consolidated capital gain of EUR 282 million.

  • 2015 Acquisition

    EUR 386 million invested by Kartesia since inception

    EUR 386 million invested at 31 December 2015 (corresponding to 76% of the total commitments since inception), in primary and secondary transactions.

  • 2015 Acquisition

    Investment in adidas

    As part of its portfolio diversification strategy, and more specifically through the development of its “Incubator”-type investments, announcement on 24 July that GBL had crossed the statutory threshold of 3% in the share capital of adidas, a global group specialised in the design and distribution of sports equipment. At 31 December 2015, GBL held 4.7% of the capital of this company, representing a market value of EUR 890 million.

  • 2015 Sale

    Sale of Cérélia by Sagard II

    In July 2015, sale of Sagard II’s stake in Cérélia, generating a capital gain of EUR 14 million (GBL share).

  • 2015 Acquisition

    Merger between Lafarge and Holcim

    Launch on 1 June 2015 by Holcim of its public exchange offer for all Lafarge shares. At the end of the reopening period, 96.4% of Lafarge shares were tendered. A squeeze-out procedure was therefore initiated and was closed on 23 October 2015. Otherwise, the new LafargeHolcim entity issued a scrip dividend in September 2015, in the proportion of one new LafargeHolcim share for each 20 existing shares, without any impact on GBL’s income statement, in accordance with IFRS. At 31 December 2015, GBL held 9.4% of the new entity and this stake has been accounted as an asset available for sale since 10 July 2015.

  • 2015 Acquisition

    Acquisitions and sale by Sagard III

    New acquisitions by Sagard III during 2015 : Safic-Alcan, Délices des 7 Vallées and Alvest. This fund also successfully completed the disposal of the Santiane group in September 2015, generating a capital gain of EUR 7 million (GBL share).

  • 2015 Acquisition

    Acquisition of Golden Goose by Ergon Capital Partners III

    On 19 May 2015, acquisition by Ergon Capital Partners III of a majority stake in Golden Goose, an Italian designer of contemporary footwear, clothing and accessories.

  • 2015 Acquisition

    Acquisition of S&B by Imerys

    Completion of the acquisition by Imerys of the Greek group S&B on 26 February 2015. The purchase price was set at EUR 624 million for all the shares, including a performance amount of EUR 21 million. Through this acquisition, partly paid in Imerys shares, the founding shareholder of S&B, the Kyriacopoulos family, holds a stake of around 4.7% in Imerys’ capital. GBL’s shareholding was slightly diluted, to 53.9% at the end of 2015 (from 56.5% at 31 December 2014).

  • 2015 Acquisition

    Investment of EUR 150 million in PrimeStone by Sienna Capital

    In February 2015, EUR 150 million investment by Sienna Capital in PrimeStone, a new fund whose strategy consists in taking medium- to long-term positions in European mid-cap listed companies.

  • 2015 Sale

    Sale by Ergon Capital Partners II of its majority stake in Joris Ide

    During the first quarter of 2015, sale by Ergon Capital Partners II of its majority stake in Joris Ide, leading manufacturer of insulated panels and steel profiles. This transaction generated consolidated net profit of EUR 14 million (attributable to GBL) in 2015. As a reminder, this participation accounted for under the equity method had already generated a EUR 14 million profit (attributable to GBL) in the past. This sale enabled the distribution of a EUR 16 million dividend (GBL share) during the last quarter in 2015.

  • 2014 Acquisition

    Further purchases of Umicore shares

    Further purchases of Umicore shares, as part of the development of its Incubator Investments. GBL held 12.4% of the company’s share capital at 31 December 2014 (5.6% at the end of December 2013), for a total investment of EUR 464 million.

  • 2014 Acquisition

    Continued development of Kartesia

    In accordance with its investment strategy, Kartesia invested more than EUR 100 million as at 31 December 2014, in more than ten secondary and/or primary transactions. In this context and since the fund inception, Sienna Capital has contributed to Kartesia’s calls for capital, for an amount of EUR 53 million.

  • 2014 Sale

    Sale of a 0.6% interest in Total in 2014

    During 2014, disposal of an additional fraction of 14.0 million Total shares (representing 0.6% of the share capital) for EUR 650 million. The consolidated capital gain from these disposals amounted to EUR 335 million.

  • 2014 Sale

    Sale by Ergon Capital Partners II and Sagard II of their shareholding in Corialis

    Ergon Capital Partners II (ECP II) and Sagard II completed on 30 October 2014 the sale of their shareholding in Corialis, a leading European manufacturer of extruded, coated and insulated aluminium profiles for doors, windows and verandas.
    This transaction generated in 2014 a consolidated net profit of EUR 41 million (attributable to GBL).

  • 2014 Acquisition

    Commitment of EUR 75 million to Mérieux Développement

    In the fourth quarter of 2014, commitment by Sienna Capital of EUR 75 million to Mérieux Développement’s investment companies, vehicles specialised in growth and venture capital investments in the healthcare sector.

  • 2014 Sale

    Partial conversion of exchangeable bonds into Suez Environnement shares

    In 2014, requests for early conversion of exchangeable bonds into Suez Environnement shares maturing in September 2015. Following these notifications, GBL delivered 29.9 million Suez Environnement shares, mostly before the ex-dividend date, with a par value of EUR 342 million, reducing the percentage interest in the company from 7.2% at the end of 2013 to 1.1% (1) at 31 December 2014. These conversions generated a net capital gain of EUR 141 million recognised in the 2014 consolidated profit or loss, EUR 47 million of which corresponds to the economic gain from the delivery of Suez Environnement shares, the balance representing primarily the reversal of the negative mark to market previously recorded in the financial statements (EUR 104 million).

  • 2014 Acquisition

    Acquisition by Ergon Capital Partners III of a majority stake in Visionnaire and in Sausalitos

    AnchorApril 2014 / July 2014 Acquisition by Ergon Capital Partners III of a majority stake (i) in Italian company Visionnaire, the market leader in high-end furnishings (, and in (ii) Sausalitos, a chain of restaurants in Germany, based on an original concept and in high growth (

  • 2014 Acquisition

    GBL supports the merger between Lafarge and Holcim

    7 April 2014 - Holcim and Lafarge announced their intention to combine their companies through a merger between equals, unanimously approved by their respective Boards of Directors and which could create the most advanced group in the building materials industry. This operation could lead to enhanced performance through incremental synergies totalling more than EUR 1.4 billion on a full run-rate basis phased in over three years with one third in year one. As Lafarge's largest shareholder, GBL, with a 21.1% shareholding, supports this merger and has committed to contribute all its Lafarge shares to the public exchange offer, which will be initiated by Holcim after the regulatory authorisations have been received. GBL would hold a shareholding of around 10% in the new entity.

  • 2014 Sale

    Sale of a stake held by Ergon Capital Partners II in Zellbios

    February 2014 - Sale of a stake held by Ergon Capital Partners II in Zellbios, a leading producer of active pharmaceutical ingredients. This transaction generated a consolidated net capital gain of EUR 25 millionfor GBL.

  • 2014 Sale

    Sale of the residual stake

    Early 2014 -Sale of the residual stake (0.1% of the capital) in Iberdrolafor EUR 21 million, generating a gain of EUR 3 million.

  • 2013 Sale

    Sale of a 0.3% interest in Total

    7 November 2013 - Sale, for around EUR 360 million, of 8.2 million Total shares representing a holding of around 0.3% in the company. Realisation of a consolidated capital gain of nearly EUR 175 million.

  • 2013 Acquisition

    Continued development of the Financial Pillar: Sagard III and Kartesia

    As part of its strategy of implementing the Financial Pillar, GBL has continued to support the French investment fund Sagard by making a EUR 200 million commitment to Sagard III alongside Power Corporation of Canada.
    It has also undertaken to acquire a stake amounting to EUR 150 million in Kartesia Credit Opportunities I, a debt fund on the primary and second market.

  • 2013

    Death of Paul G. Desmarais

    October 2013 - Death, at the age of 86, of Mr Paul G. Desmarais, a GBL Director since 1982, Vice-Chairman of its Board of Directors since 1990 and controlling shareholder of the Power Corporation of Canada Group.

  • 2013 Acquisition

    Placement of EUR 428 million of five-year convertible GBL bonds

    27 September 2013- Issuing of EUR 428.4 million of bonds convertible into 5.0 million GBL treasury shares (3.1% interest). These five-year bonds bear interest at an annual rate of 0.375% and will be redeemed, on 9 October 2018, either through a cash payment, a delivery of shares or a combination of both, at a redemption price of 105.14% of par value, equal to a 42% premium and an effective conversion price of EUR 90.08 per share.

  • 2013 Sale

    End of the shareholder agreement relating to Suez Environnement

    27 July 2013- Non-renewal of the shareholder agreement relating to Suez Environnement and signing of a framework industrial and commercial cooperation agreement by GDF SUEZ and Suez Environnement.

  • 2013 Acquisition

    Investment in Umicore

    17 July 2013- Holding in Umicore exceeds the statutory 3% threshold. Umicore is a global leader specialised in materials technology and recycling listed on Euronext Brussels. Creation of a position in “incubator” type investments through stock market purchases over the year. Announcement of a 3.0% holding by the company in July 2013 and 5.6% by year end 2013

  • 2013 Acquisition

    Acquisition of a 15% stake in SGS

    3 June 2013 – Agreement with EXOR for the acquisition of its 15% stake in SGS, the global leader in inspection, control, analysis and certification, listed on the Zurich stock exchange. The price of CHF 2,128 per share represents a EUR 2.0 billion investment for GBL.

    10 July 2013 - Approval by SGS’s Extraordinary General Meeting of the appointment of three GBL representatives to the company’s Board of Directors (Paul Desmarais jr, Ian Gallienne and Gérard Lamarche).

  • 2013 Sale

    Sale of 2.7% of GDF SUEZ

    13 May 2013 - Sale through accelerated book-building (ABB) of 65 million GDF SUEZ shares, representing a stake of around 2.7% in the company, for a little over EUR 1.0 billion.

  • 2013 Sale

    Exchangeable bond for GDF SUEZ shares for EUR 1.0 billion

    On 24 January 2013, issue by GBL of a 4-year exchangeable bond for GDF SUEZ shares bearing a 1.25% coupon combined with a 20% premium.

  • 2012 Acquisition

    Continued development of the private equity business

    In 2012, EUR 28 million were released to fund investments in the funds Ergon Capital Partners and Sagard. EUR 2 million of dividends were also collected following the disposal of an investment in PAI Europe III.

  • 2012 Sale

    Exchangeable bonds for Suez Environnement shares for EUR 401 million

    On 7 September 2012, there was an issue of a 3-year exchangeable bond for Suez Environnement shares, with a 0.125% coupon and a 20% premium. This issue covers almost all of the shares held by GBL, i.e. 35 million Suez Environnement shares representing a 6.9% interest.

  • 2012 Sale

    Partial sale of 2.3% of Pernod Ricard

    On 14 March, a 2.3% interest in Pernod Ricard was sold for EUR 499 million, producing a consolidated capital gain of EUR 240 million.

  • 2012 Sale

    Sale of 10.0% of Arkema

    On 13 March 2012, GBL sold the whole of its investment in Arkema. The net income from the disposal totals EUR 432 million, generating a capital gain of EUR 221 million.

  • 2011 Acquisition

    Increase to 10% in Arkema

    GBL boosted its interest in Arkema to 10.0% in 2011, investing another EUR 170 million.

  • 2011 Acquisition

    Distributions and additional investments in private equity

    In 2011, GBL invested EUR 95 million in the Ergon Capital Partners, PAI Europe III and Sagard funds and collected distributions of EUR 75 million for the disposal of various interests. 

  • 2011 Acquisition

    Acquisition of exclusive control of Imerys

    In April, GBL acquired the full 25.6% stake in Imerys held by Pargesa Holding S.A. for EUR 1,087 million, raising its stake to 56.4% of the firm’s capital and therefore securing sole control over this asset. GBL marginally increased its investment in the company during the year, bringing it to 57.0% in capital and thereby exceeding the threshold of two thirds of voting rights.

  • 2010 Acquisition

    Stronger position in Pernod Ricard and Arkema

    GBL spent EUR 120 million strengthening its investment in Pernod Ricard, raising it to 9.9% at the end of 2010.

    It also invested EUR 27 million in Arkema and passed the 5% threshold in its capital at the end of December.

  • 2010

    Buyback of exchangeable bonds

    GBL continued in 2011 its policy of buying back its exchangeable bonds maturing in April 2012, for an additional EUR 92 million, bringing its accumulated buybacks to EUR 251 million of a total of EUR 435 million.

  • 2010

    Financing policy – Bond issue

    For the sake of controlling its medium-term financing, GBL took advantage of favourable market conditions to raise EUR 350 million in June 2010 falling due in December 2017. These bonds are listed on the Stock Exchange and offer a coupon with a nominal rate of 4% gross.

  • 2010

    Private equity

    Private equity activity showed a modest recovery in 2010. Apart from a few pay-outs or marginal payments in full in the ECP I & II, PAI Europe III, Sagard and Sagard II funds, GBL invested some EUR 40 million in Ergon Capital Partners III, a vehicle created in the first half of 2010 in which GBL, the sole shareholder, has agreed to invest EUR 350 million.

    At the end of 2010, the uncalled subscribed commitments on these different funds totalled around EUR 443 million.

  • 2009 Acquisition

    Stronger position in Pernod Ricard and distribution of shares free of charges

    GBL increased its shareholding by nearly 1% in 2009, bringing it to 9.1% at the end of the year.  It spent EUR 113 million to this increase, which was made through acquisitions on the Stock Exchange.

    During fourth quarter 2009, Pernod Ricard allocated shares free of charges in the proportion of 1 new share for 50 existing shares.  This transaction, which had no impact on the ownership rate, increased the number of shares held by GBL by 500,000.

  • 2009 Acquisition

    Participation in the capital increases of Lafarge, Pernod Ricard and Imerys

    During the first half of 2009, GBL invested nearly EUR 485 million in the capital increases launched by Lafarge (EUR 1,500 million; EUR 16.65 per share), Pernod Ricard (EUR 1,036 million; EUR 26.70 per share) and Imerys (EUR 251 million; EUR 20.00 per share) in accordance with its role of long-term shareholder.

  • 2009 Acquisition

    Distributions and additional investments in the funds ECP, PAI Europe and Sagard

    In 2009, GBL invested EUR 7 million in the different private equity vehicles that make up its portfolio and collected dividend payouts totalling EUR 2 million. The commitments not called up totalled EUR 138 million on 31 December 2009.

  • 2009 Acquisition

    Acquisition of treasury shares

    During 2009, GBL acquired 478,088 treasury shares for a total amount of EUR 27 million.

  • 2008 Acquisition

    Distributions and additional investments in the ECP, PAI Europe and Sagard funds

    In 2008, GBL invested EUR 24 million in the different private equity vehicles that make up its portfolio and collected dividend payouts totalling EUR 33 million.

    The commitments not called up totalled EUR 194 million on 31 December 2008.

  • 2008 Acquisition

    Investment in Imerys

    The stake in Imerys rose from 26.8% to 30.5% during the year, corresponding to an investment of around EUR 100 million.

  • 2008

    GDF Suez merger and spin-off of Suez Environnement.

    In July 2008, the merger of GDF and Suez was implemented, creating GDF SUEZ, the third highest value in the CAC 40. In the context of the merger, Suez distributed to its shareholders 65% of the capital of Suez Environnement, new company listed on Euronext Paris.

    As a result of these transactions, GBL's holdings in GDF SUEZ on the one hand and in Suez Environnement on the other amounted to 5.3% and 6.3% respectively. GBL subsequently stepped up its presence in the capital of Suez Environnement, raising its interest to 7.1% at end 2008.

  • 2008

    Stronger position on Lafarge

    Further to the diluting effect of the Orascom operation in January 2008, GBL's shareholding in Lafarge slipped from 17.9% to 15.9%. GBL spent nearly EUR 1.1 billion reinforcing its position in the cement firm, raising its stake to 21.1% at the end of 2008.

  • 2008

    Divestment of Iberdrola shares

    At the start of 2008, GBL partially disposed of its investment in Iberdrola (0.8%) for a total price of EUR 436 million, resulting in a capital gain of EUR 47 million. The remaining position amounted to 0.6% at end 2008.

  • 2007

    Additional payment under subscription in Ergon Capital Partners (ECP), PAI Europe III and Sagard Private Equity Partners (Sagard)

    In 2007, GBL invested EUR 109 million in the different private equity vehicles that make up its portfolio and collected dividend payouts totalling EUR 100 million. The commitments not called up totalled EUR 221 million on 31 December 2007.

    The additional payments enabled Sagard to bolster its presence in Regie Linge Developpement, Sagard II to invest in Vivarte, Corialis, SGD and Fläkt Woods, and ECP to invest in Corialis, Joris Ide Group and Farmabios and to boost its stake in La Gardenia and Seves.

    The contribution of the different funds to GBL's result for the year amounted to EUR 67 million. This contribution is primarily the result of divestments by PAI Europe III, Sagard and ECP.

    During the year under review, PAI Europe III disposed of five holdings (Provimi, Saur, Elis, Vivarte and Neuf Cegetel); Sagard sold Vivarte and Medi Partenaires, and ECP disposed of its shareholding in King Benelux, selling it to the group Bunzl plc. in August 2007.

  • 2007 Acquisition

    Investment in Pernod Ricard

    GBL increased its participation in Pernod Ricard from 6.2% of the capital at end 2007 to 8.2%, spending nearly EUR 300 million.

  • 2007 Acquisition

    Acquisition and disposal of Iberdrola’s shares

    At the end of May 2007, GBL established jointly with Compagnie Nationale à Portefeuille (CNP-NPM) a total position of 5% in Iberdrola. GBL invested EUR 1,433 million in the transaction, representing 3% of the capital.

    In December 2007, GBL and CNP-NPM announced their partial withdrawal from the capital; at the end of December 2007, GBL held only a 1.4% stake in Iberdrola's capital.

  • 2007 Acquisition

    More in Suez

    GBL reiterated its support for the strategy of Suez and confirmed its role of historic shareholder, increasing its investment in January 2007 to 9.3% of this firm's share capital via an acquisition of 20.3 million shares on the Stock Exchange, for an investment of nearly EUR 800 million.

    On 2 September 2007, the Suez and Gaz de France Boards of Directors approved the principles underpinning the merger of the two groups. In association with the merger, the Suez Environment business group will be introduced on the Stock Exchange, with 65% of its capital being distributed to Suez shareholders.

    The merger operation is planned for 2008.

  • 2007 Acquisition

    More in Lafarge

    GBL raised its shareholding in Lafarge from 15.9% at end December 2006 to 17.9%, for a net investment of EUR 332 million. This increase of its stake in the cement manufacturer occurred in a stable and friendly context.

    In January 2008 Lafarge and Orascom Construction Industries approved the buyback operation launched in December 2007 on Orascom Cement by Lafarge.

  • 2006 Acquisition

    Stronger position in Pernod Ricard

    GBL already owned a 2.8% stake in Pernod Ricard at end 2006.  It continued its investment policy last year, investing EUR 557 million to raise its stake in the group's capital to 6.2% by end 2007.

  • 2006

    GBL – Financing policy

    In 2007, confirmed lines of bank credit that may be used over a period of six to seven years increased from EUR 950 million on 31 December 2006 to EUR 1,800 million. These new lines of credit feature the same characteristics and GBL is still entitled to pledge securities held in its portfolio as a guarantee for the grant of such credits with the aim of securing better financial terms.

  • 2006 Sale

    Disposal of GBL’s 25.1% investment in Bertelsmann

    Groupe Bruxelles Lambert has concluded this 4th July 2006 the sale of its 25.1% stake in Bertelsmann and has received the EUR 4.5 billion proceed from the sale. The group will generate a consolidated capital gain of approximately EUR 2.4 billion on this operation.

  • 2006

    IPO of Bertelsmann

    In accordance with the shareholders’ agreement entered into between GBL and the MOHN family, GBL’s Board of Directors decided to ask for, as from the end of May 2006, the implementation of the possibility that it is offered to list BERTELSMANN if the market conditions are favourable.

  • 2006

    Launch of Arkema

    In May, Total has made the spin-off of Arkema. This spin-off is reflected in the distribution to shareholders of Total one Arkema share for every 10 shares held Total. The resulting contribution to GBL's 3.9% Arkema.

  • 2006 Acquisition

    Ergon Capital Partners - Investment in King Belgium and King Nederland

    In the first quarter of 2006, Ergon invested EUR 24 million in the acquisition of an 80% stake in King Benelux (King Belgium and King Nederland), the biggest wholesaler and distributor of consumer goods to a wide range of industries and sectors, including health, public institutions, catering and cleaning.

  • 2006 Acquisition

    Acquisition of holding in Lafarge S.A.

    GBL declared to the AMF on 26 January 2006 its ownership of more than a 5% share in capital and voting rights in Lafarge SA, having on that date reached the level of a 6.5% holding in Lafarge SA. This position, of which Lafarge SA was informed, was built up through the purchase of shares on the market and is an amicable and stable holding. On 28 March 2006, the shareholding amounted to 8.1%.

    In dated May 22, 2006, GBL has declared to the "Autorité des marchés financiers" (AMF) that it has passed the 10%-threshold of Lafarge’s capital and voting rights.

    In its statement of intent GBL mentioned that it reserves the right to have its shareholding evolve and that it is not seeking immediate Lafarge Board representation.

    The building up of this position, known by the management of Lafarge, results from acquisitions on the Stock Exchange and has a friendly and stable character.

    As of 30 June 2006, GBL held 10.2% of Lafarge's capital and 9.7% voting rights as a result of different movements in the company's share capital and voting rights.
    On 7 September, GBL declared that it once again exceeded the 10% level of voting rights as a result of recent acquisitions on the Stock Exchange.

    During the 3d quarter, GBL strengthened its position in Lafarge through an additional investment of EUR 350 million.

    On 30/9/06, its position corresponded to 12,1% of the capital and 11,4% of voting rights.

  • 2005

    Increase in the capital of Suez (8%)

    In early August 2005, Suez announced plans to offer cash or trade shares for the Electrabel shares not yet in its possession.

    GBL supported the move by Suez and decided to buy Suez shares as a means of offsetting the drop in value of its share likely to result from the transaction. It accordingly raised its stake in Suez to 8% for the moment, an investment of some EUR 250 million. GBL also intends to participate proportionally to its share (EUR 200 million) in the capital increase of EUR 2.4 billion launched by Suez to finance its bid on Electrabel.

  • 2005 Acquisition

    Ergon Capital Partners - Investment in Stroili and Franco

    Ergon made its first investment in June 2005, paying EUR 16 million for a sizeable stake in Stroili & Franco, a leading Italian jewellery distributor.

  • 2005

    Creation of Ergon Capital Partners (Ergon)

    Ergon was founded in February 2005 by two main co-founders, namely GBL and Parcom Ventures, a subsidiary of ING. This private equity fund has investment capacity of EUR 150 million. This fund aims to invest in companies with leading positions on growth markets, offering build-up opportunities, with turnover of between EUR 20 million and EUR 100 million, and located primarily in Belgium, Italy and France.

  • 2004

    Additional pay-up in PAI and Sagard Private Equity Partners

    PAI Europe III
    On 31 December 2004, GBL invested EUR 20.7 million in the private equity fund PAI Europe III. The uncalled commitment amounts to EUR 14.0 million.

    PAI Europe III sold Antargaz during the first quarter of 2004 to UGI, an American listed company, in a context of very favourable market conditions, thus realizing a capital gain of EUR 4.2 million at GBL level.

    PAI Europe III's portfolio grew in 2004 with the acquisition of various interests, among them:

    • Saeco, active in the design, production and distribution of espresso coffee machines for domestic and professional use. This company, which used to be listed in Milan, became unlisted following a public repurchase offering.
    • Vivarte, an important French retailer of clothing and footwear, leader in its sector. The group operates two different concepts: major discount outlets in suburban municipalities and name-brand chain shops in city centres.

    The sound financial performance of Mivisa (a Spanish manufacturer of metal packaging) in 2004 and growth in its margins resulted in a significant reduction of debt and a reimbursement for shareholders. PAI Europe III also announced in December 2004 the sale of Mivisa to funds managed by CVC Capital Partners. The transaction is expected to be finalised in the first half of 2005.

    Sagard Private Equity Partners
    In 2001, GBL made an undertaking to invest EUR 50 million in Sagard, a private equity fund that closed its subscriptions at EUR 536 million. On 31 December 2004, GBL paid a cumulative amount of EUR 21.5 million.

    In the course of 2004, Sagard invested in four interests that made up its portfolio at end December:

    • Vivarte, a major player in the distribution of clothing and footwear, alongside PAI Europe III.
    • Faiveley Transport, present across the globe in the sector of on-board rail equipment.
    • Groupe Moniteur, French leader in the trade press and in specialised services in the construction sector and for local communities. The activities are grouped into two complementary poles: press, with two flagship nationally-known weeklies, and services, including the organisation of exhibitions, seminars, and training and publishing activities.
    • AFE, international group specialised in the design and manufacture of plastic components and the manufacture of cast steel components.

  • 2004

    Sale of remainder Rhodia shares

    During the first four months 2004, GBL disposed of the remainder of Rhodia shares generating a loss of EUR -4,9 million as at 30/6/2004.

  • 2003 Acquisition

    Reducing its investment in Rhodia

    As a result of Rhodia's financial weakness, combined with the prospect of refinancing needs and unsatisfactory earnings, GBL decided to dispose of its stake in the firm, which since 2001 had been considered a non-strategic investment. On 31 December 2003, GBL still held a 4.9% share in Rhodia.

  • 2003

    Additional pay-up of PAI and Sagard (PEP) funds

    At the end of December 2003, GBL paid up EUR 17.9 million and EUR 3.2 million respectively into the PAI Europe III and Sagard (PEP) funds, out of a commitment of  EUR 40 million and EUR 50 million.

    PAI Europe III, after closing its call for funds at EUR 1,816 million, proceeded with several investments :

    • United Biscuits, a UK firm that produces and distributes biscuits and snacks;
    • LD Com, a French provider of infrastructure, bandwidth and services for telecom and Internet operators;
    • Mivisa, a Spanish producer of metal packing products; Antargaz, LPG distributor in France;
    • Elis, European leader in textile leasing, refreshment services (coffee machines and water distributors) and hygiene services;
    • Panzani, Europe's number two producer of pasta, rice, couscous and sauces;
    • Provimi, developer, manufacturer and distributor of animal nutritional products;
    • Yoplait, number two after Danone in fresh dairy products.

    Sagard (PEP) closed its subscription period end december 2003 with an investment capacity of more than EUR 500 million.

  • 2002

    Additional pay-up of PAI and PEP funds

    At the end of December 2002, GBL paid up EUR 19 million and EUR 2 million respectively into the PAI and PEP funds, out of a commitment of  EUR 40 million and EUR 50 million.

    PAI, after closing its call for funds at EUR 1,816 million, proceeded with five investments in the course of 2002, namely Antargaz, Yoplait, Panzani Lustucru, Elis and Provimi.

    PEP decided to prolong its subscription period and aims to an investment capacity of EUR 500 million.

  • 2002 Acquisition

    Investment of EUR 5 million in SN Airholding

    GBL provided financial support for the investor-led initiative to reactivate an airline (SN Brussels Airlines, ex-DAT) based in Brussels. GBL’s contribution to the incorporation of SN Airholding, the investment firm that acquired DAT’s equity, totalled EUR 5 million.

  • 2001

    Subscription to PAI Europe III fund

    During 2001, GBL made an undertaking to invest EUR 40 million in the PAI Europe III fund, of which EUR 9.9 million were already paid up in the course of the year.
    Created by Paribas Affaires Industrielles (PAI) for 10 years, PAI Europe III strives an  overall investment capacity above EUR 1.25 billion and is active in Western Europe, essentially in France, Benelux, Spain and Italy. This modest investment – in terms of the group’s portfolio as a whole – gives GBL a window on a sector of activity where it does not intend to have a direct presence.

  • 2001 Acquisition

    Investment in the private investment fund, Private Equity Partners Europe (PEP)

    GBL also decided towards the end of the year to invest EUR 50 million in PEP, a private equity fund expected to be worth more than EUR 500 million, created by Power Corporation of Canada. The fund will concentrate on investments in medium-sized enterprises, primarily in French-speaking Europe. It expects to generate a high rate of return while using gearing.
    The operation, which meets the requirements of Article 524 of the Company Code, is based on an approach similar to that underpinning the PAI investment. It is a one-off operation by nature and does not reflect a new investment policy on the part of GBL through funds outside the group.

  • 2001

    Merger by absorption of GBL by Electrafina

    On April 26 2001, the Extraordinary General Meetings of shareholders of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert S.A. and of Electrafina, its 82.8% subsidiary, approved the merger of the two companies. The operation was conducted in accordance with the arrangements set out in the merger proposal deposited with the Registry of the Commercial Court of Brussels on March 14, 2001. Parity  was fixed, after dividing Electrafina stock by 3, at 5 new Electrafina shares for 1 Groupe Bruxelles Lambert S.A. share.  The merged company is called Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, in abbreviated form GBL.

    This merger, called for by the financial community and shareholders alike, would again simplify the group’s organisation chart and add to its clarity and transparency.

  • 2001

    Swap of 29.9 % stake in RTL Group for 25.1 % of Bertelsmann

    On 5 February 2001, GBL and Bertelsmann announced their plans to strengthen their partnership and to conclude an agreement whereby GBL would hand over its 29.9% share in RTL Group to Bertelsmann, which already owned a 37% stake, in exchange for a 25.1% interest in Bertelsmann.  The final agreement between the two groups was signed on 30 March 2001. It stipulates, among other things, that GBL will have the right to request the listing of Bertelsmann from end 2006 at the latest. Pending the listing of shares, during a period limited to 5 years, GBL will collect an annual special dividend of at least EUR 120 million on its 25.1% stake.

    The exchange took place on 2 July 2001 after being cleared by regulatory authorities.

  • 2001

    Sale of the group’s interest in Lasmo

    In January, the group sold its 7.3% stake in Lasmo in the context of ENI’s counter takeover bid launched in December 2000 on Lasmo, at the price of 200 pence per share. Given the foreign exchange hedge in place, the sale of the Lasmo shares generated cash receipts of EUR 313 million and a total gain of around EUR 89 million.

  • 2000

    Sale of Gillam

    Sale of the 46.5% holding in Gillam to the American firm Frequency Electronics Inc. for USD 4.5 million.

  • 2000

    CLT-UFA increases its stakes in its subsidiaries Channel 5, RTL Television and Vox

    CLT-UFA exercised its preferential right to buy the interest in Channel 5 held by Warburg Pincus. This raised the CLT-UFA stake in Channel 5 from 29% to 35.5%. CLT-UFA acquired the remaining 11% of RTL Television, Germany's number one commercial television channel, for the sum of EUR 240 million. CLT-UFA group and News Corporation signed an agreement under the terms of which CLT-UFA would pay the sum of USD 330 million to acquire the 50% stake held by News corporation in the Vox channel. This raised CLT-UFA's stake in Vox to 75%.

  • 2000

    5% of Audiofina's share capital floated on the market to increase liquidity of the share

    GBL and its subsidiaries sold some 5% of Audiofina's share capital to increase the liquidity of Audiofina shares. These sales had a significant positive effect on group profit for the year 2000.

  • 2000

    Sale of Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux and TotalFinaElf shares on the stock exchange

    Marginal cut back of these two major holdings in the portfolio, without effect on the nature of our relationship with the companies and with the purpose of bolstering the group's liquidity and improving its room for financial manoeuvres.
    Sale by Electrafina of the equivalent of 1.0% of Total Fina Elf and 1.0% of Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux. The cash return and capital gains produced by these transactions totalled EUR 510 million and EUR 98 million respectively in Electrafina's accounts.

  • 2000

    Sale of Cometra Energy (Canada)

    Sale by Electrafina of its interest in Cometra Energy (Canada) to the American listed group Vintage Petroleum Inc., for CAD 71 million.

  • 2000

    Bonds exchangeable into Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux shares

    Private placement by Electrafina of EUR 418 million worth of bonds exchangeable into 2.0 million Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux shares with maturity in August 2004 at the latest and an average interest rate of 1 3/8 %.  These bonds may be redeemed, at the option of the subscriber, in either cash or shares.

  • 2000

    Successive takeover bids on Lasmo

    Signing by Electrafina initially of an irrevocable undertaking, subject to a counter-bid at least 10% higher, to bring its 7.3% interest in Lasmo to the mixed public takeover bid (valued at 180 pence a share) launched by the American listed oil group, Amerada Hess. Dropping of the Amerada Hess bid in favour of a counter-bid at 200 pence per share from the listed world-stature oil group, ENI.

  • 2000

    Merger of Audiofina, CLT-UFA and Pearson Television to create Europe's number one integrated audio-visual group

    On 7 April 2000, GBL, Bertelsmann AG and Pearson Plc agreed to merge Audiofina, CLT-UFA, Europe's number one commercial radio and television operator, and Pearson Television (PTV), the world's number one independent television production company. This led to the formation of Europe's number one integrated audiovisual production and broadcasting group, with annual revenues of some EUR 4 billion. A primary listing on the London Stock Exchange will be applied for once the merger is completed. Bertelsmann and GBL, the two controlling shareholders in CLT-UFA, brought their shareholdings together by transferring them to Audiofina. The two groups retained joint control of over 50% of Audiofina's share capital. After this transaction, Bertelsmann, GBL, Pearson and the public held economic interests of 37%, 30%, 22% and 11% respectively in Audiofina. Didier Bellens, who became Managing Director of CLT-UFA in March 2000, was appointed to head up the new group.

  • 2000

    Strengthening of Rhodia stake

    Acquisition by GBL of 0.6 million shares in Rhodia for EUR 11 million, bringing its total stake in the company to 5.3% on 31st December 2000.

  • 2000

    Gradual strengthening of our presence in Electrafina

    Investment by GBL in the course of the year of some EUR 155 million in Electrafina, raising ownership of its subsidiary to 82.8%, from 80.1% on 31st December 1999.

  • 1999

    Disposal of gas interests by Cometra Energy (Canada)

    Cometra Energy (Canada), a 100% subsidiary of Electrafina, sold its gas collection and processing interests to Duke Energy for CAD 74 million, generating a net capital gain (Electrafina share) of CAD 24 million.

  • 1999

    GBL shareholding in Electrafina breaks through the 80% level

    GBL's purchases of Electrafina shares on the Brussels Stock Exchange during the year took its stake in this subsidiary from 76.8% to 80.1% as at 31 December 1999, representing a total investment of EUR 146 million in 1999.

  • 1999

    Lasmo launches a friendly takeover bid for Monument Oil and Gas

    Electrafina exchanged its 26.2% holding in Monument in the context of the friendly takeover bid by Lasmo, thus contributing to the success of the transaction (97.5% of the Monument share capital exchanged). The terms of the exchange were 3 new Lasmo shares for 7 Monument shares, producing a net consolidated capital gain of EUR 62 million for Electrafina. As at 31 December 1999, Electrafina held 7.3% of the new entity.

  • 1999

    Additional investment in Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux

    Electrafina acquired some EUR 145 million worth of Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux on the stock exchange. Electrafina remains the largest shareholder in the group, with 8.4% of its share capital as at 31 December 1999, compared with 10.7% one year earlier, Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux's strategic expansion in 1999 having been financed mainly by significant new share issues.

  • 1999

    CLT-UFA sold almost all its stake in the Premiere pay television channel to Groupe Kirchh

    CLT-UFA sold 45% of Premiere to Groupe Kirch for a consideration of EUR 800 million, thus marking its intention to withdraw from the pay TV sector to concentrate on commercial television, radio and audiovisual rights.

  • 1999

    Agreements to raise the GBL/Electrafina stake in Audiofina from 50% to 78%

    GBL agreed to purchase the 10,946,018 Audiofina shares held by Vivendi for a consideration of EUR 591 million. GBL and Paribas signed an agreement under the terms of which GBL will progressively acquire the Paribas shareholding in Audiofina through a series of call and put options spread over the years 2000, 2001 and 2002. This transaction involves an amount of EUR 301 million. On completion of these transactions, GBL and its subsidiaries will have acquired almost 28% of the Audiofina share capital.

  • 1999

    Successful merger of PetroFina and Total

    Further to the agreements signed in December 1998, Electrafina exchanged its PetroFina shares for an 8.4% stake in the new TotalFina group. Electrafina recorded a capital gain of EUR 1,330 million from this transaction, including a dividend of EUR 61 million declared by PetroFina. Total's exchange offer for the remaining publicly-held PetroFina shares ran from 6 May to 2 July. At the end of the offer period, TotalFina held 98.8% of the PetroFina share capital and Electrafina held a 6.9% share in the new TotalFina group.

  • 1999

    TotalFina launches a takeover bid for Elf Aquitaine to form the world's 4th largest oil company

    On 13 September 1999, TotalFina and Elf Aquitaine agreed to a friendly merger between the two companies. Terms of the deal provide for the exchange of 19 TotalFina shares entitled to dividend as from 1 January 1999 for 13 Elf Aquitaine shares. The offer closed finally on 26 October 1999. The new combined entity ranks as 4th in the world in its sector and enjoys one of the three largest market capitalisations in France. Electrafina remains the largest shareholder, with 3.4% of the share capital as at 31 December 1999. The European Commission approved the merger between the two groups on 8 February 2000.

  • 1999 Sale

    Sale of Calgon and Copperweld by Imerys

    In July 1999, Imerys sold its speciality chemicals interests (held by Calgon, a subsidiary of English China Clays, ECC) to Degrémont, a subsidiary of Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, for a consideration of USD 425 million. Imerys also agreed to sell ECC's metals processing interests, Copperweld, to the American steel company LTV Corporation for a consideration of USD 650 million.

  • 1999 Acquisition

    Takeover bid for English China Clays by Imerys (formely Imétal)

    The friendly takeover bid by Imerys (26.0% owned by GBL) for English China Clays (ECC) was completed successfully. The revised offer price of GBP 2.50 per ECC share valued ECC at EUR 1.1 billion. On completion of this transaction, Imerys held 100% of the share capital of ECC.

  • 1999 Acquisition

    Investment in Rhodia

    GBL acquired 5.1% of the share capital of Rhodia, a world leader in speciality chemicals. This investment of some EUR 161 million was made as part of the open price and secondary share placement offer for Rhodia shares by Rhône-Poulenc (now renamed "Aventis").

  • 1999

    Purchase and cancellation by Audiofina of its own bonds redeemable shares

    Audiofina acquired 3,219,058 of its own bonds redeemable in shares (mainly from Vivendi) at an average price of EUR 54 per share, representing a total investment of EUR 174 million. Audiofina subsequently cancelled these bonds, thus avoiding the dilution that would have resulted from the issue of new shares.

  • 1998

    Merger of PetroFina and Total

    At the end of November 1998, the Board of Directors of Electrafina voted in favour of a merger of Petrofina and Total. The Board decided to deliver its Petrofina stake to Total in exchange for new Total shares to form Total Fina, which will be the world's 5th largest international oil company. On completion fo this transaction and the subsequent Total public offer of exchange, Electrafina would hold 6.8% of the capital of the new group and should be Total Fina's largest shareholder.

  • 1998

    Merger and absorption of Parfinance by Imétal

    Parfinance was Pargesa/GBL Group's French holding company and its main asset was a 54.4% holding in Imétal. The shareholders of Parfinance and Imétal approved the merger of these two companies. As at 30 June 1998, after the merger, GBL held 23.4% of Imétal's capital; together GBL and Pargesa, held over 50% of the capital. Prior to this transaction, Parfinance:

    • sold its Axa-UAP and Paribas shares, producing net profit of BEF 1,4 billion for GBL;
    • distributed an exceptional dividend, of which GBL received BEF 6.4 billion.

  • 1998

    Increase in Electrafina stake

    During the first half of 1998, GBL has increased its stake in Electrafina from 49.0% on 31 December 1997 to 75.8% on 30 June 1998 (fully diluted). This increase is due mainly to the acquisition in June of the 24.4% of Electrafina shares held by Vivendi, representing an investment of BEF 43.5 billion. This transaction increased GBL's estimated value by BEF 15 billion or over BEF 600 per share.

  • 1998

    Investment in Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux

    During the first half of the year, Electrafina invested some BEF 10 billion in Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux by purchases on the stock exchange and by exchanging the Société Générale de Belgique shares it held during the Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux  public offer of exchange on its subsidiary. At the conclusion of this public offer of exchange, Electrafina holds a 10.4% interest in Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux.

  • 1997

    Sale of oil assets to Lomak Petroleum and Pioneer Natural Resources Cy.

    Electrafina took advantage of particularly favourable market conditions in the United States in 1997 to withdraw from its exploration/production activities in that country. This transaction was effected in two stages.  

    • At the beginning of 1997 American Cometra sold a substantial proportion of its asset portfolio for a gross amount of $ 400 million, $ 30 million of which was in the form of securities, to the American public company, Lomak Petroleum.  
    •  The remainder of the oil assets in the United States were sold in the autumn to Pioneer Natural Resources Cy., a company quoted on the New York Stock Exchange. This purchase took the form of a cash payment from Pioneer of $ 85 million and 1.6 million of its shares.

  • 1997

    Increased stake in Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux

    On several occasions during 1997, GBL, through Electrafina, increased its holding in Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, for an amount of BF 33 billion. Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux is a worldwide industrial group active in the field of services to local communities resulting from the reverse-take-over in 1997 of the Compagnie de Suez by Lyonnaise des Eaux. As at 31 December 1997 Electrafina held 11.2% of the share capital in this group.

  • 1997

    Creation of CLT-UFA

    On 13 January 1997, the association between CLT and UFA, the audio-visual subsidiary of the German group Bertelsmann, produced the leading European audio-visual group, CLT-UFA. With a view to balancing their respective holdings in CLT-UFA, Audiofina sold 16.7% of CLT-UFA to Bertelsmann for LUF 32 billion. Following these transactions, Audiofina and Bertelsmann held 98% of the share capital in CLT-UFA.

  • 1996 Acquisition

    Investment in the Compagnie de Suez

    Some of Electrafina's liquid assets (BF 13 billion) were re-invested during 1996 in securities of the Compagnie de Suez, in which Electrafina held 6.1% of the share capital as at 31 December 1996.

  • 1996

    Sale of shareholding in Tractebel

    In September 1996, Electrafina and Royale Belge sold their holdings in Tractebel to the Société Générale de Belgique for BF 49.4 billion.

  • 1992

    Passing the 50% mark/threshold in the capital of Imétal

    Having passed the 50% mark in terms of voting rights during the summer of 1991, Parfinance reached the 50% level as regards share capital in April 1992. The two entities Imétal and Parfinance merged in June 1998.

  • 1989

    Creation of the new Electrafina entity

    Having purchased the 26% stake in the share capital of the former Electrafina held by the Société Générale de Belgique, Cometra took over this company, adopted the name Electrafina and increased the shareholders'equity by BF 24.2 billion. As a result of these transactions, GBL held 39.6% (NFD = non fully diluted) of Electrafina.
    After the merger, the new Electrafina entity held stakes of 18% and 14% respectively in Tractebel and PetroFina. These holdings were increased to 21.5% and 20% by 31 December 1989 through various acquisitions during the course of 1989. 

  • 1989

    Strengthened position in Imétal

    Parfinance's holding in the share capital of Imétal was gradually increased from 28.1% at the start of the year to 42.1% by the end of the year.

  • 1989

    Restructuring in the energy sector: PetroFina and Tractebel

    During 1989, GBL confirmed its position as the leading shareholder in PetroFina, in which it held 20% of the share capital at 31 December 1989, and the second shareholder in Tractebel with 21.5% of the share capital in this company.
    This basic restructuring of GBL's interests in the energy sector was effected in two phases:

    • Purchase of 26% of the former Electrafina from the Société Générale de Belgique, giving the group control of 5% of PetroFina and 13.3% of Tractebel
    • PetroFina and Tractebel securities contributed initially by companies in the Pargesa group, Compagnie Nationale à Portefeuille, Cobepa, Gevaert and subsequently by the Royale Belge, remunerated by GBL securities issued when the shareholders' equity was increased by BF 13 billion in 1989.

  • 1989

    Création de Bernheim-Comofi

    En 1989, GBL a décidé de conjuguer ses efforts de développement dans le domaine immobilier à ceux de la Royale Belge et de la Compagnie Nationale à Portefeuille (CNP). A cet effet, Royale Belge a pris une participation dans le capital de Bernheim Immobilier et Financier, laquelle a ensuite fusionné avec Comofi, société cotée et filiale de CNP. A l'issue de ces opérations, GBL détenait 40% de Bernheim-Comofi, participation vendue en juin 1998.

  • 1988

    A 28.1% stake acquired in Imétal

    Having acquired 19.9% of the share capital of Imétal between April and July 1987, Parfinance increased in 1988 its holding in several steps so that by the end of December 1988 it represented 28.1% of the share capital.

  • 1988 Acquisition

    Acquisition of Tractebel

    On 24 March 1988, GBL and its subsidiaries Cometra and Royale Belge, together with the Société Générale de Belgique, played a substantial role in the capital increase of Tractebel (the total amount of this transaction was BF 13.6 billion). This acquisition was realised by contributing shares in electricity generating companies and in PetroFina to Tractebel. This holding was sold in September 1996.

  • 2019

    Disposal of Transcor, Groupe Jean Dupuis and Distripar

    In conformity with article 60 bis of Belgian Company Law, GBL sold its interests in Transcor, Groupe Jean Dupuis and Distripar (shareholder in Belgian Sky Shops and Cloquet group) to Compagnie Nationale à Portefeuille (CNP) .
    These total consideration for these sales was BEF 3.4 billion, subject to a potential upward adjustment if certain conditions are fulfilled in the course of future months.

  • 2019

    GBL – Capital increase

    In early July, GBL materialised a capital increase with preferential rights, in the proportion of one new share for 10 existing shares, at the price of EUR 84.

    The share issue was very successful, securing a participation rate of 95.8% of existing shareholders. The remainder was subscribed by new investors via scripts. At the end of the operation, 14.2 million shares were issued in the amount of EUR 1,183 million, net of costs.

  • 2019

    Disposal of the holding in BBL

    In December 1997, GBL exchanged its 12.5 % holding in BBL for ING shares on the occasion of the Public Exchange Offer launched by the latter. The holding in ING accounted for BF 24.2 billion of the estimated value as at 31 December 1997. During the course of 1998, the ING shares were sold on the stock market.

  • 2019

    Acquisition of own shares

    Further to the authorisation granted by the firm's Annual General Meeting of 30 May 2000, acquisition by GBL in the course of the year of 2.6% of its own capital, for EUR 170 million.

  • 2019

    Sale of ING and AXA-UAP shares

    Over the course of 1998, GBL sold its entire holding of ING shares received during the BBL public offer of exchange in December 1997 and the Axa-UAP shares acquired during the sale of its Royale-Vendôme interest. These sales generated capital gains of some BEF 7.6 billion.

  • 2019

    Reduction of bank and bond debt

    Maturing in April 2012 of the balance of the GBL convertible bond of EUR 184 million and reimbursement of drawdowns on bank credit lines over the year as part of the active management of the cost of carry.

  • 2019 Acquisition

    Placement of exchangeable bonds GBL EUR 435 million

    In March 2005, GBL has placed successfully exchangeable bonds due 2012, issued by its subsidiary Sagerpar and fully guaranteed by GBL.

    The bonds have an aggregate principal amount of EUR 435 million. The latter are exchangeable for 5,000,000 GBL shares which are now held by GBL as treasury shares. The coupon is set at 2.95% yearly and the bonds will be reimbursed at par value on 27 April 2012 (7 years) if they have not been exchanged. The conversion price is fixed at EUR 87, representing a premium of 25.5% over the average price of the day.

    The bonds will be callable by the issuer from 11 May 2008 subject to a 130 % hurdle of the conversion price.

    The loan is listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange since 27 April 2005.

  • 2019

    Disposal of Royale-Vendôme

    In May 1998, GBL sold its 25.1% interest in Royale-Vendôme, through which GBL and Axa-UAP exercised joint control of Royale Belge, to Axa-UAP. The consideration for this sale was paid half in cash (BEF 15.8 billion) and half in the form of Axa-UAP shares and certificates of guaranteed value. Axa-UAP subsequently launched a full takeover on Royale Belge under the same terms and conditions. GBL realised a capital gain of BEF 17.7 billion on the sale of its stake in Royale-Vendôme.

  • 2019

    Extending of the partnership between the Desmarais (Canada) and Frère (Belgium) families

    In December 2012, the Desmarais (Canada) and Frère (Belgium) families extended until 2029 the agreement under whose terms they equally control Pargesa Holding, which itself controls GBL.

  • 2019

    Disposal of Audiofina stake in Havas

    Audiofina sold its 3.3% interest in Havas during the first half of the year, generating a capial gain of some 1.5 billion. GBL's share of this capital gain was BEF 0.4 billion.

  • 2019

    Sale of the group's interest in BIAC

    The sale of BIAC at the end of December 2004 resulted in a net capital gain of EUR 40.9 million. GBL initially acquired in 1988 a shareholding in the former BATC, which merged in 1998 with the publicly-owned airways operator (Régie des Voies Aériennes) to create BIAC, the company that operates Zaventem Airport. GBL increased its presence in BIAC in the 1990s to 4.7% of its capital, an investment of EUR 7.4 million.

    In September 2003, the State, the majority shareholder in BIAC, launched with the other shareholders a procedure to bring in a new private partner. At the end of December 2004, the other shareholders concluded an agreement with the Australian group Macquarie for the sale of 70% of BIAC, valued at EUR 735 million. The State kept the remaining 30% in BIAC's share capital.

  • 2019

    Sale of 40.5% holding in Bernheim-Comofi

    On 10 June 1998, GBL sold, at the same time as Compagnie Nationale à Portefeuille and Royale Belge, its 40.5% holding in the share capital of Bernheim-Comofi (link to A.1.b3 1989: Creation of Bernheim-Comofi) for BF 3.7 billion. The buyer, the group Security Capital Global Realty (USA), launched at the same time a public offer of exchange, under the same conditions, for the remainder of the share capital of Bernheim-Comofi.

  • 2019

    Purchase of GBL shares and conversion of 586,355 warrants

    On 12 June 1998, GBL acquired from Axa-UAP 9.8% of the GBL shares at a price of BEF 6,297 per share, representing an investment of BEF 15.1 billion. These shares were used partly to cover the July 1998 convertible loan stock issue and partly for the issue of shares on the conversion of 584,917 GBL warrants in June 1998.
    The terms of conversion of warrants for the warrant exercice period from 1 to 20 June 1998 were amended, allowed to exercise these warrants in exchange for existing shares or new shares.
    1,438 new GBL shares were issued and existing shares were allocated in respect of the balance of the warrants exercised. The conversion of 586,355 warrants at a unit price of BEF 4,400 generated cash receipts of BEF 2.6 billion for GBL.

  • 2019

    New Executive Management

    On 1 January 2012, Ian Gallienne and Gérard Lamarche began their duties as Managing Directors alongside the CEO, Albert Frère.

  • 2019

    Procedure against Viventures 2

    Launched in 2000 in the wake of Viventures 1, created in 1998, Viventures 2 invests in start-ups in the communications technologies, telecoms and Internet sectors, with a strong business-to-business orientation.

    The fund totals EUR 300 million. GBL has made an undertaking to invest EUR 24 million, of which EUR 6.3 million were paid at end 2003.

    In 2003, following Vivendi's pull-out from the fund and sale of the management company, GBL and other investors began a procedure for an early withdrawal from the fund.