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Some moves in HAL’s portfolio

  • 08 Aug 16

In addition to the transactions concluded by its holdings and subsidiaries, HAL completed some transactions during 2015 and announced some other ones to be realised in 2016. The great transaction of the 2015 year was the GrandVision’s IPO which was conducted in February. The year before, all the optical retail activities were transferred by HAL to GrandVision, which has become the only optical retail subsidiary of the group. GrandVision NV commenced trading on Euronext Amsterdam as a result of a secondary offering, by HAL, of 21.9% of the outstanding shares of the company. The offer price of €20 per share corresponded to an equity value for GrandVision of €5.1bn and gross proceeds for HAL of €1,112m. At the end of 2014, the book value of HAL’s 98.6% ownership interest in GrandVision was only €799m (but €3.8bn in our NAV). Net cash proceeds amounted to €1,086m and HAL realised a positive result of €900m on this transaction. In accordance with IFRS, this result was not recognised in the income statement but recorded through shareholders’ equity because HAL remains the controlling shareholder of GrandVision. At the end of 2015, the stock market value of HAL’s 76.72% interest in GrandVision was €5,399m. It amounts today to about €4,861m. In H2 15, HAL sold its 25% interests in Navis Capital Partners Ltd (a company focused on private and public equity investments primarily in and around South-East Asia) for a net capital gain of €35m (non-disclosed selling price). But HAL retains an economic interest through preferred shares in Navis and remains an investor in five of the private equity partnerships managed by the company. The first 2016 months recorded a certain number of transactions. Concerning the divestitures: HAL sold its 80.6% interests in InVesting BV (a company active in the purchase of bad debt portfolios for its own account and in credit management) to the British company Arrow Global Group Plc. The transaction resulted in a net capital gain of €38m for HAL (non-disclosed selling price). But InVesting’s interest in Infomedics Groep BV (a provider of business process outsourcing and factoring services for the Dutch health care sector) was not part of the transaction, with HAL retaining an indirect stake of 38% in this company. HAL completed the sale of its 46.7% interests in the specialist provider of surety and trade credit insurance: Nationale Borg-Maatshappij to the American insurance company Am Trust Financial Services Inc. The transaction resulted in a net capital gain of €28m. In May 2016, HAL entered into an agreement to sell the 95% it holds in the hearing and retail subsidiary AudioNova International BV to the Swiss company Sonova Holding AG for €830m. With 1,361 stores in eight European countries, AudioNova reported 2015 revenues of €359m and an operating income of €47m. The sale will result in an expected net capital gain for HAL of about €470m. Concerning the acquisitions: HAL increased its ownership interest from 45% to 70% in Atlas Services Group Holding BV, which is specialised in supplying professional staff to the energy and maritime industries worldwide. HAL is acquiring 20% of Coolblue Beheer BV, one of the leading online retailers in the Benelux. Selling a diversified portfolio of consumer electronics and domestic appliances, the company reported revenues of €555m in 2015. The acquisition price is for the moment not disclosed. HAL is a long-term owner of its holdings. In GrandVision which it has listed, it has had an ownership interest since 1996. Concerning the holdings and subsidiaries it divested, it has had an ownership interest in Navis since 1999, in AudioNova since 2001 and in InVesting since 2006.