Marconi today announced that it has reached agreement to sell its 50 per cent shareholding in General Domestic Appliances Holdings Limited (GDA) to Merloni Elettrodomestici SpA, for a cash consideration of approximately £121 million.
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, is expected to close before the end of the first calendar quarter of 2002.
In addition, and prior to completion of this transaction, Marconi confirmed that it will receive a dividend of £23 million. This comprises the annual cash dividend associated with Marconi’s stake in GDA, together with a special dividend relating to the proceeds from the sale by GDA of its subsidiary, GDA Applied Energy Ltd.
‘The agreement to sell our non-core interest in GDA helps us in our programme to focus on our core communications business,’ said Mike Parton, Marconi chief executive. ‘With both this transaction and the recently announced sale of Marconi Commerce Systems, we look set to realise our £500 million cash from disposals target by March 2002.’
General Domestic Appliances recorded consolidated pre-tax profits of £36 million for the year ended 31 March 2001. 50 per cent of this amount was attributable to Marconi, which also recorded a goodwill amortisation charge in the Group consolidated accounts of approximately £2 million.