Bureau Veritas IPO By Year-End

Wendel Investissement executive board chairman Jean-Bernard Lafonta said the planned initial public offering for part of its Bureau Veritas unit will take place by “the end of the year.”

Lafonta, who was talking at today's shareholders' meeting, had confirmed the plan to sell off part of the unit in an interview with today's issue of La Tribune without specifying a timeframe.

The announcement had been widely flagged by analysts.

Bureau Veritas, which provides inspection, testing, auditing, and certification services had 2006 net profit of 157.2 mln eur.

Lafonta told La Tribune that Wendel will retain a controlling stake in the unit.

Lafonta also told the AGM that Wendel's net asset value at end-May was 127 eur per share, up from 109 at the end of 2006 and compared to 38 when Wendel Investissement was created at the end of 2002.