Batipart and Delfin, the two major investors in Fonciere des Regions (FdR) with 36% of the shares, have agreed to terminate a shareholder accord which gave them control of the French office REIT. In a statement, the two companies gave no explanation for their decision but said that they both remain confident in FdR's ability to develop and strengthen its profitability. The five-year pact was signed at the time of FdR's merger with Italy's Beni Stabili in 2007 and was initially planned to last until 2012. Batipart, with a 14% stake in FdR, is the holding vehicle of Charles Ruggieri. Delfin, the owner of nearly 22%, is the holding company of Italian billionaire Leonardo Del Vecchio. Although the rationale for the separation remains unclear, the move is likely to lead to changes in the shareholder structure of the French office REIT. The move also opens up possibilities for launching an offer for FdR, as the shareholders no longer have the force to block a takeover bid. Leonardo del Vecchio, one of Italy's richest men, was the major owner of Beni Stabili until 2007 when he agreed to swap his stake for an interest in FdR. For the past two years, the entrepreneur has shared control of FdR with Batipart's Charles Ruggieri but sources says that the two investors have not found a 'modus vivendi' to manage the company. FdR and Beni Stabili feature a similar asset profile but have different business models, with the French REIT owning high-yielding properties and Beni Stabili being more focused on capital. According to Sara Bellenda, an analyst at CBRE Investors in London, the decision to dissolve the shareholder pact 'can be interpreted positively'. 'The two shareholders can now decide autonomously on their stake,' she says.(Property EU)
Delfin, Batipart dissolve shareholder pact in France's FdR
07/04/2010, 15:06 | Francia, Italia | Foncière des Régions, Beni Stabili S.p.A. SIIQ
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