鲁伯特家族将剥离英美烟草27%股权
2008年08月19日来源:烟草在线据彭博报道编译

  烟草在线据彭博报道编译  南非亿万富翁鲁伯特家族控制的历峰集团和其他公司,将剥离英美烟草27%的股权,以规避税收。

  在伦敦交易所中,英美烟草的股价下跌了2%,使控股公司的价值下降到了99.6亿英镑(191亿美元)。作为交易的一部分,将拆分为两家公司的历峰,把苏黎世让幕果公司中的股份提高3.3%,而鲁伯特也把约翰内斯堡的股份提高了4.3%。拆分将在11月3日进行。

  历峰和让幕果公司正对持有英美烟草股权的卢森堡投资公司进行重组,因为卢森堡大公国计划从2010年终止对控股公司的税收豁免。据瑞士信贷分析师Rogerio Fujimori称,剥离可能推动历峰的股价,在过去10多年内,历峰的股价比竞争对手威登集团(LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton)的低了14%。

  彭博数据显示,位于日内瓦的卡迪尔珠宝和积家钟表(Jaeger-LeCoultre)的制造商历峰公司,股价为截至3月底目前财政年度每股盈利的13.5倍。这比威登集团的股价低了15%。

  投资机会

  “这将为一些渴望英美烟草的投资者创造机会,”雷曼兄弟的一位分析师David Hayes在给投资者的分析中写道。他把英美烟草的级别评为“看淡”。

  转手交易可能会使烟草公司在英国的基准富时100指数中目前2.1%的分量有所增加。

  历峰总裁约翰·鲁伯特在电话中说,英美烟草是一家“健康的公司”,将“会保值”。他说,他正在创建Reinet,因为他认为在未来的2-5年内会出现“难得的”的投资机会。

  鲁伯特说,历峰的剥离是对奢侈品业务的“信任投票”。在剥离后,这个珠宝制造商将拥有10多亿欧元的现金。

  1999年,在英美烟草合并了乐富门国际公司后,历峰和让幕果共持有英美烟草35%的股权。历峰持有控股公司19%的股权,按8月7日的收盘价计算价值150亿法郎,即42%的市值。

  收购计划

  1988年鲁伯特设立了历峰集团,以持有种族隔离时期在南非之外的投资,当时制裁限制了在该国内的投资。他们利用南非的伦勃朗烟草公司的现金购买商标。历峰意欲成为一家投资公司,目前这家奢侈品公司的规模比它持有卷烟业务的时候要大。

  “奢侈品业务产生了大量的自由现金流,”历峰的首席财务官Richard Lepeu在一次电话会议中对记者说。“如果任何机会出现的话,我们有实力继续收购。”

  尽管奢侈品销售正在增长,但是由于担心行业需求可能会疲软,因为经济趋缓,金融公司正在裁员,今年历峰和竞争对手的股价下滑了。

  “奢侈品市场已经证明是非常有弹性的,特别是多亏了新兴市场的客户,”Lepeu说,拒绝对全年做出预测。“我们仍很谨慎,特别是对美国和日本。”

  作为交易的一部分,英美烟草将向非洲最大的约翰内斯堡证券交易所申请股份挂牌交易,因为一些历峰的股权是由当地人持有的。由于市值等同于5380亿兰特,它将是交易所最大的公开上市公司。

  在历峰的剥离中,高盛集团和第一兰特银行是顾问银行。第一兰特银行还是让幕果的顾问银行。雷曼兄弟控股公司是鲁伯特家族的顾问银行。

Rupert Family Companies Will Spin Off 27% BAT Stake

By Thomas Mulier

  Aug.8 (Bloomberg) -- Cie. Financiere Richemont SA and another company controlled by South Africa's billionaire Rupert family will spin off a 27 percent stake in British American Tobacco Plc to avoid taxes.

  BAT fell 2 percent in London trading, cutting the holding's value to 9.96 billion pounds ($19.1 billion). Richemont, which will split into two companies as part of the transaction, rose 3.3 percent in Zurich. Remgro Ltd., which the Ruperts also control, added 4.3 percent in Johannesburg. The spinoff will take place Nov.3.

  Richemont and Remgro are reorganizing the Luxembourg investment company that holds their BAT stakes because the Grand Duchy plans to end holding-company tax breaks from 2010. The spinoff may boost Richemont stock, which has traded at a 14 percent discount to rival LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA over the past decade, according to Credit Suisse analyst Rogerio Fujimori.

  Richemont, the Geneva-based maker of Cartier jewelry and Jaeger-LeCoultre watches, trades at 13.5 times estimated per- share profit for the current fiscal year ending in March, Bloomberg data shows. That's a 15 percent discount to LVMH.

  Investment Opportunities

  "This will create some overhang anxiety for BAT," David Hayes, an analyst at Lehman Brothers, wrote in a note to investors. He rates BAT "underweight."

  The transaction may increase the tobacco company's weighting in the U.K. benchmark FTSE 100 Index from the current 2.1 percent.

  BAT is a "fine company" and "will maintain value," Richemont Chairman Johann Rupert said on the call. He said he's creating Reinet as he expects "once-in-a-lifetime" investment opportunities may arise in the coming two to five years.

  The spinoff of Richemont is a "vote of confidence" in the luxury business, Rupert said. The jewelry maker will have more than 1 billion euros of cash after the spinoff.

  Richemont and Remgro gained a combined 35 percent stake in BAT on merging cigarette maker Rothmans International with the U.K. company in 1999. Richemont has a 19 percent holding, worth about 15 billion francs ($14.1 billion) at yesterday's closing share price, or 42 percent of its market value.

  Acquisition Plans

  The Ruperts set up Richemont in 1988 to hold investments outside South Africa during the apartheid era, when sanctions limited investment in the   country. They used cash from South Africa's Rembrandt Tobacco Corp. to buy brands. While Richemont was intended to be an investment company, the luxury unit now is bigger than its holdings in the cigarette industry.

  "The luxury business is generating a substantial free cash flow," Richard Lepeu, Richemont's chief financial officer, said on a conference call with reporters. "We'll have the firepower to continue to make acquisitions if any opportunities arise."

  While luxury sales are rising, shares of Richemont and competitors have slid this year on concern that industry demand may weaken as economies slow and financial companies cut jobs.

  "The luxury market has proved to be very resilient, especially thanks to the emerging-market clientele," Lepeu said, declining to give a forecast for the full year. "We remain cautious, especially for the U.S. and Japan."

  BAT will apply to Johannesburg's stock exchange, Africa's largest, for a share listing as part of the transaction because some of Richemont's equity is held locally. With a market value equating to 538 billion rand ($71 billion), it will be the exchange's biggest publicly traded company.

  Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and FirstRand Bank Ltd. advised Richemont on the spinoff. FirstRand also advised Remgro. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. advised the Rupert family.

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