Clear and quantified orientation:
- €3-4 billion in equity investments between 2017 and 2020, including €500-1,000 million from link-minded partners.
- Building a portfolio of with around 50% unlisted assets, including 10 large investments at the Wendel level and other smaller companies at the level of Oranje-Nassau Développement.
- €200-500 million in Wendel equity per transaction in Europe and North America, €50-200 million in Oranje-Nassau Développement equity per transaction in Africa and Southeast Asia;
- Double-digit average total shareholder return, with dividend increases year after year consistent with our TSR target, and with share buybacks regularly, depending on opportunities.
Wendel is hosting its 15th annual Investor Day today in London, dedicated to the Group's unlisted companies and during which the Executive Board will present Wendel's 2017-20 strategic orientation.
In addition, the Supervisory Board decided to renew the appointment of the Executive Board when its current term ends. The appointments of Frédéric Lemoine and Bernard Gautier will thus be renewed for four years, beginning on April 7, 2017.
Frédéric Lemoine, Chairman of Wendel's Executive Board, commented:
"This 15th annual Investor Day, dedicated to our unlisted companies, is an opportunity for the financial community to meet the executives of Wendel group companies and to better understand their value creation potential. In a macroeconomic and geopolitical environment characterized by numerous uncertainties, and having achieved our 2013-17 objectives at the end of last year, we're also taking the opportunity to announce our new ambitions for 2017-20. Bernard Gautier and I would like to use our third term together since 2009 to pursue an ambitious growth strategy in line with Wendel's unique identity, its strengths and its track record. With our presence in the heart of Europe, international teams in Africa, North America and Asia, a sound financial structure and numerous undervalued companies with very high potential, both listed and unlisted, there has never been a better time to invest in Wendel shares."
Leveraging its unique positioning as a long-term investor and the success of its 2013-17 strategic plan, Wendel will pursue its diversification and internationalization strategy, as well as its reorientation towards unlisted assets over the next four years, while improving its financial structure even further.
Continued investment in high-quality unlisted assets
Wendel intends to invest €3-4 billion, including €500-1,000 million in third-party funds, in unlisted companies offering high potential for profitable growth and exposure to the major long-term growth trends. To structure its co-investment proposal, Wendel will create a co-investment club in the first half of 2017, composed of partners sharing Wendel's investment philosophy.
Wendel will make equity investments of €200-500 million in the North America and in Europe. Oranje Nassau Développement will be active principally in Africa and in Southeast Asia on investments of less than €200 million. Wendel will seek to take advantage of opportunities to invest amounts less than €50 million in the debt of unlisted companies and through Wendel Lab, an entity for accessing untapped sources of value creation (venture capital, portfolio of listed shares, social impact projects, etc.).
Once this strategy has been carried out, Wendel will offer investors a portfolio, including 10 large assets at Wendel level and other smaller companies at the level of Oranje-Nassau Développement, mostly unlisted, keeping in mind that over the next four years, some of the companies currently in the portfolio will have reached the critical mass necessary for an IPO.
During this period, unlisted assets will represent around 50% of gross assets and no more than 60%.
Development of Group companies to create value
Wendel will continue to emphasize the long-term growth of its companies, by actively encouraging them to make investments that drive organic growth and profitability and by providing support for their acquisitions. Wendel is also launching its Digital@Wendel initiative, so as to enable its companies to step up value creation through digitization.
Prudent financial structure and improved cash flows
Wendel will durably operate with net debt less than €3 billion on an ongoing basis. This reduction in debt, and in interest expense as a result, together with dividend upflow from listed and unlisted Group companies, will enable Wendel to target a positive cash flow over the 2017-20 period at the holding company level2. In this way, Wendel intends to consolidate its investment grade rating.
Creating value for shareholders
Wendel aims to continue generating double-digit total shareholder return3, based on the average share price in the second half of 2016, deliver an increasing dividend year after year consistent with our TSR target, and repurchase shares, regularly and depending on opportunities, as soon as the discount exceeds 20%.
Investor Day program
Investor Day will be held today in London at the Millennium Mayfair, starting at 8:30 AM (GMT).
8:00 AM: Welcome
8:30 AM: Introduction – Frédéric Lemoine, Chairman of Wendel's Executive Board
8:45 AM: Stahl – Huub van Beijeren, CEO / Constantia Flexibles – Alexander Baumgartner, CEO & Stephan Kühne, CFO / IHS – Ted Manvitz, CFO / Tsebo – Clive Smith, CEO / Allied Universal – Steve Jones, CEO
11:55 AM: Wendel's strategic orientation for 2017-20 – Executive Board of Wendel
It will be broadcast live on Wendel's website, where it will remain available for replay. The presentation document will be available on Wendel's website beginning at 8 AM.
2016 full-year earnings / Publication of NAV (pre-market release)
Shareholders' Meeting / Publication of NAV and trading update (before Shareholders' Meeting)
H1 2017 earnings / Publication of NAV (pre-market release)
By conference call
2017 Investor Day / Publication of NAV and trading update (pre-market release)
Wendel is one of Europe's leading listed investment firms. The Group invests internationally, in companies that are leaders in their field, such as Bureau Veritas, Saint-Gobain, Cromology, Stahl, IHS, Constantia Flexibles and Allied Universal. Wendel plays an active role as industry shareholder in these companies. Wendel plays an active role as industry shareholder in these companies. It implements long-term development strategies, which involve boosting growth and margins of companies so as to enhance their leading market positions. Through Oranje-Nassau Développement, which brings together opportunities for investment in growth, diversification and innovation, Wendel is also a shareholder of exceet in Germany, Mecatherm in France, Nippon Oil Pump in Japan, Saham Group and SGI Africa in Africa and CSP Technologies in the United States.
Wendel is listed on Eurolist by Euronext Paris.
Standard & Poor's ratings: Long-term: BBB-, stable outlook – Short-term: A-3 since July 7, 2014. Wendel is the Founding Sponsor of Centre Pompidou-Metz. In recognition of its long-term patronage of the arts, Wendel received the distinction of "Grand Mécène de la Culture" in 2012.
For more information: www.wendelgroup.com
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1 Average cash flow over the 2017-20 period = dividends received - financing costs - operating expenses + management fees
2 Average cash flow over the 2017-20 period = dividends received - financing costs - operating expenses + management fees
3 Average total shareholder return over the 2017-20 period, dividends reinvested
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