The informational and consultation procedure with the workers councils representing the personnel of Editis group has now been completed. The procedure concerned the separation of assets to be retained from those to be divested by Lagardere Group.
At the same time, Lagardere initiated the divestiture procedure in accordance with the commitments made by the Group in December 2003, which were approved by the Brussels Commission in its decision of 7 January 2004.
A careful examination was conducted, via BNP Paribas, its consultant bank, of the dozen or so offers received by Lagardere from potential acquirers who had manifested a strong interest in the acquisition of the entire assets to be divested. Lagardere selected five candidates and granted an exclusive option until midnight on Tuesday 25 May to one of them, WENDEL Investissement, in order to verify during this period that all of the conditions of a proposed agreement can be met. The agreement must then be submitted for an opinion to the workers councils concerned as well as to the relevant antitrust authorities.
Lagardere considered that the offer submitted by WENDEL Investissement was the one most likely to meet the overall criteria that Lagardere had set for itself, while also complying with the criteria established by Brussels, the most important of which were price, speed of implementation, the quality of the industrial project for Editis and its employees and the financial soundness of the acquirer.