By Dan Lalor
French public works group swaps up to 8% of company for Cegelec unit of real estate investor Qatari Diar.
French public works group Vinci is creating a Euopean leader in the energy services business by swapping a stake of up to 8 percent in the company for the Cegelec unit of real estate investor Qatari Diar.The deal will see Vinci create a division with annual revenue of over 7 billion euros ($10 billion), boosting group sales by 3 billion and adding to earnings from 2010, it said in a statement on Monday.
Qatari Diar, owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, will take a stake of 5-8 percent in Vinci, becoming its top shareholder after staff.
Cegelec provides services including electrical engineering, information and communication technologies, and maintenance and services. It has 27,000 staff and operates in over 30 countries through more than 1,200 sites.
"With Cegelec, Vinci would become one of the top European players in the sector of services for business and local authorities in the field of energy," it said.
The deal was announced after markets closed on Monday when Vinci stock closed down 1.3 percent, in line with France's benchmark CAC 40 index and giving the company a market capitalisation of 19.6 billion euros.
Earlier, Vinci reported first-half operating profit fell 7.1 percent to 1.36 billion euros as stimulus packages still fail to translate into infrastructure contracts.
The world's largest construction and concession group said net profit dropped 5.8 percent to 690 million euros, above the average estimate of six analysts polled by Reuters of 637 million.
The group said it had seen a rebound in French motorway concessions in the second quarter of the year, which was confirmed this summer.
It proposed an interim dividend of 0.52 euro. (Reuters)