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Cetelem / LASER - Cofinoga alliance: Green light from the French administrative authorities

29 March 2005, SEMAD (holding company for the Moulin family) and BNP Paribas announced they are stepping up their partnership concerning Galeries Lafayette and Cetelem in consumer credit, leading to an ambitious industrial alliance in France and Europe.

The DGCCRF (1), responsible for French and EU competition regulations, and the CECEI (2) have both issued their approvals of the transaction in France.

This will result in a joint control over LASER-Cofinoga by Cetelem and Galeries Lafayette.

Consequently, after the approval of the legal terms by the general meetings of LASER and Cofinoga, the transaction is expected to be completed in line with the scheduled timetable by the end of September 2005.

The “OPR” (French public bid for shares), followed by a compulsory withdrawal of Galeries Lafayette shares, which came after the success of the “OPA simplifiée” – simplified public tender offer (expired 11 May 2005), closed as forecast on 20 and 21 July 2005. Following these transactions, MOTIER (ex SEMAD) and BNP Paribas hold the entire equity of Galeries Lafayette.

(1) “Direction Générale de la Concurrence de la Consommation et de la répression des fraudes” (French regulator for consumer competition and fraud) with the “Ministère de l'Economie des Finances et de l'Industrie” (French Ministry for the Economy, Finance and Industry).
(2) “Comité des Etablissements de Crédits et des Entreprises d'Investissement” (French Committee for investment and financial institutions)