GBL invests 350 mln euros in two new funds

BRUSSELS Wed Oct 9, 2013 3:31am EDT

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BRUSSELS Oct 9 (Reuters) - Belgian holding company GBL said late on Tuesday that it had invested 350 million euros ($475.9 million) in two funds as part of its diversification away from large French companies.

The company said in a statement it had invested 200 million euros in Sagard III, a fund of French group Sagard to support the growth and development of medium-sized companies in French-speaking parts of Europe.

GBL had also contributed 150 million euros to a new credit fund called Kartesia Credit Opportunities I, which will invest in leveraged buyout loans in Europe.

GBL, controlled by Belgium's richest man Albert Frere, has traditionally had a focus on French high-yielding stocks, including Total, GDF Suez, cement maker Lafarge and drinks group Pernod Ricard.

Earlier this year, it bought a 15 percent stake in Swiss inspection company SGS from Exor, carmaker Fiat's parent company, for 1.5 billion euros.

It also took a 4 percent stake in Belgian specialist materials group Umicore. ($1 = 0.7355 euros) (Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Robin Emmott)