Publicis Groupe said today that its founding family, the Badinters, has sold more than 2.4 million shares of its stock in the holding company back to the Groupe for approximately 176 million euros, or about $187 million at today’s exchange rate.
The transaction is part of a company buyback program designed in part to pay off a bond offering ahead of schedule.
As a result of the sell-off, the Badinter family’s ownership stake in the company drops to 7.58% from 8.67%, while voting rights decline to 13.88% from 15.87%.
Publicis said that the buyback of the Badinter shares was approved by the board (with family board members abstaining) and that the price of the shares represented a 2% discount from the weighted average share price over the previous five trading days.
The transaction follows yesterday’s news that Martin Sorrell, CEO of rival holding company WPP received a $53 million windfall from a stock award tied to the company’s long-term incentive plan known as LEAP.