Renault sells remaining Volvo stake

PARIS/LONDON Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:21am IST

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PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) - French carmaker Renault (RENA.PA) said it was selling its remaining 6.5 percent stake in truckmaker Volvo (VOLVb.ST) as it seeks to cut debt and boost its financial stability.

The block of 138.6 million "A" shares, which carry more voting rights than the widely held "B" shares, is being placed with institutional investors, according to statements issued by the carmaker and sole bookrunner Goldman Sachs on Wednesday.

The shares are being priced between 91.25 and 93.25 Swedish crowns, according to a source familiar with the matter, for a transaction value of up to 1.48 billion euros ($1.94 billion).

That represents a discount of 2.8-4.8 percent on their Wednesday closing price of 95.90 crowns.

"After this transaction is completed, the Renault group will no longer hold any shares in AB Volvo," Renault said.

Renault said it would use the proceeds to fund domestic and international investments as well as to reduce automotive net debt, which stood at 818 million euros ($1.1 billion) as of June 30.

Renault has held a stake in Volvo since 2001, when it sold its trucks division to the Swedish company in return for shares. Renault Trucks remains a division of Volvo AB.

Much of Renault's shareholding was divested in 2010, when Renault offloaded its "B" shares, amounting to a 14.9 percent stake in Volvo, to raise 3 billion euros.

The residual "A" shares now being sold carry 17.2 percent of Volvo's voting rights.

(Reporting by Laurence Frost and Kylie MacLellan; Editing by James Regan and Alexander Smith)

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