KKR, Wendel Cutting Legrand Stake To 50%

PARIS (Reuters) – French investment company Wendel (MWDP.PA) and U.S. private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR.AS) said on Monday they would cut their stake in French electronics company Legrand (LEGD.PA) to 50 percent from 61 percent.

But they both said they remained committed long-term shareholders of Legrand.

Wendel and KKR said they had decided to sell their combined 11 percent stake in the market to institutional investors. Using the Monday closing price of Legrand shares, the stake was valued at 572 million euros ($856.4 million).

“KKR and Wendel intend to remain active and strongly committed core shareholders of Legrand, thanks to their double voting rights and their majority position on the board of Legrand,” the two companies said in a statement.

The pair said they would now have 65 percent of Legrand’s voting rights.

“KKR and Wendel plan to continue to actively support the development of Legrand, as they have done since 2002 and since Legrand’s IPO in 2006.”

KKR and Wendel have agreed on a six-month lock-up period, subject to certain exceptions. (Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)