Largest shareholder sells out of Belgium's Arseus

BRUSSELS, April 9 Wed Apr 9, 2014 3:35am EDT

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BRUSSELS, April 9 (Reuters) - The largest shareholder in Belgian medical supplies company Arseus has sold its entire stake in a private placement, a larger sale than initially planned.

Arseus said in a statement on Wednesday that Dutch-Belgian firm Waterland Private Equity had sold 8.36 million shares, representing 26.67 percent of Arseus's outstanding capital.

Arseus had said on Tuesday that Waterland intended to sell a stake of up to 20 percent, but the private equity investment group increased its sale because of strong demand.

Arseus was created in 2007, spinning off from then listed Belgian health products distributor Omega Pharma.

Waterland, with a variety of holdings in largely unlisted Belgian, Dutch, German and Swiss companies, became a shareholder in November 2009, buying 7.83 million shares from Omega Pharma and Omega's main shareholder Couckinvest for 8 euros a share.

It was also liable to pay an "earn-out" of 2.75 euros per share to Omega Pharma and Couckinvest, payable when Waterland exited. Waterland has since become a part owner of Omega Pharma, which was delisted in 2012.

Trading of shares in Arseus, which earlier reported solid first-quarter sales, was suspended during the placement.

They were down 2.4 percent immediately before the suspension.

On their resumption on Wednesday they were down 6.1 percent at 35.10 euros. Belgian media said the private placement had been carried out at 35 euros per share.

They stock was still up 27 percent in the year to date. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Mark Potter)

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