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Saint-Gobain launches procedure for possible IPO of Packaging Sector

Following the Board of Directors“ review of the project, Compagnie de Saint-Gobain has begun preparations for a possible legal reorganization of its Packaging Sector with a view to carrying out an IP…

Following the Board of Directors“ review of the project, Compagnie de Saint-Gobain has begun preparations for a possible legal reorganization of its Packaging Sector with a view to carrying out an IPO. In line with the applicable provisions of French labour law, employee representative bodies will be informed and consulted about the project in the coming weeks. As early as 2007, I clearly stated that the Packaging Sector was out of step with the Group“s strategic focus on the habitat and construction markets, said Pierre-Andr de Chalendar, Saint-Gobain“s Chairman and CEO. After three difficult years, the general business environment in 2011 is more likely to ensure that the packaging sector – which demonstrated its fundamental robustness during the crisis – will be valued at a price that reflects its true worth. For this reason, we are today launching the procedure for a possible stock market listing and IPO that would allow investors to participate in the development of this very attractive business. Saint-Gobain could, according to financial analysts, raise as much as EUR 4.5 billion through the planned flotation of the unit which had sales of around EUR 3.4 billion in 2009. Analysts at bank Credit Suisse have said that funds from the proposed IPO could be used to reduce the building materials supplier“s debts or fund acquisitions. A disposal of the entire division to private equity funds remains a possibility, as the business has a strong and stable cash flow, the analysts said. Launching the IPO process may be a way to increase private interest.

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