JAB, the biggest shareholder in Anglo-Dutch consumer goods firm Reckitt Benckiser, has sold around a third of its holding in the firm, seemingly to fund a takeover in the US.
Vienna based outfit JAB's broker has placed 36m shares - equivalent to around 4.9% of the issued share capital of Reckitt - with institutional investors.
The shares of the Cillit Bang and Finish maker went at £33.50 a pop, raising a total of £1.2bn for JAB, which is tipped to use the money to fund an attempted takeover of Avon Products, the cosmetics giant in the US.
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The transaction reduces JAB's stake in Reckitt from 15.5% to 10.6%.
JAB's decision to reduce its stake was announced after the close of trading in London on Wednesday, so the market saw this one coming. Reckitt Benckiser shares dropped 145p in the first hour of trading to 3,421p, 71p above the price at which JAB's shares were placed.
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