Publicis Groupe buys shares from Badinter family

MUMBAI: French advertising group Publicis Groupe has bought back 2.4 million of its own shares for a sum of EUR 175,775,861 (at EUR 73.03 per share) from the Badinter family as it prepares to pay back early a convertible bond known as the ORANE 22.

This transaction will bring down the holding of Elisabeth Badinter and her family group from 8.67 per cent to 7.58 cent of the share capital and from 15.87 cent to 13.88 cent of the voting rights. Elisabeth Badinter remains the first shareholder in the company.

This transaction is part of the buy-back program approved by the General Shareholders Meeting held on 28 May, 2014 and the repayment ahead of schedule of the ORANE 2022 approved by the Supervisory Board and announced on 15 September, 2014. 12,684,487 shares are required for this repayment. One half will be taken from shares currently held by the company, and the other half (6,342,244 shares) will be acquired.

The shares bought from the Badinter family will be used to cover the debt securities giving access to equity capital in order to proceed with the early repayment of the ORANE 2022. The balance of 3,395,371 shares will be acquired in the market.

The Supervisory Board meeting held on 12 March, 2015 examined the proposal to buy back part of the shares held by Elisabeth Badinter and her family, and concluded that the acquisition of this block of shares was in the best interests of the company and its shareholders. Consequently, it unanimously approved this transaction; the Board members personally concerned abstained from taking part in the discussion and vote.

The price of the transaction represents a discount of two per cent from the weighted average share price over the previous five trading days and of 4.5 per cent with respect to the closing price of EUR 76.47 on 16 March, 2015.

The share buy-back is financed by Publicis Groupe's available cash resources.

Publicis Groupe welcomes this transaction, which enables the company to control changes in its shareholding structure without affecting its financial structure, while at the same time ensuring the early repayment of the ORANE, which will have a relative effect on the net profit per share on a fully diluted basis of around 2.4 per cent on a full year. The early repayment of the ORANE will be submitted to the Shareholders? meeting of the company, which will take place on 27 May, 2015.

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