On November 29, 2018, we held our 17th annual Investor Day, devoted principally to the unlisted companies in our portfolio. This year, Alexander Baumgartner (CEO of Constantia Flexibles – one of the world’s leaders in flexible packaging), Huub van Beijeren (CEO of Stahl – world leader in leather chemicals), Sam Darwish (CEO of IHS – African leader in telecom tower infrastructure) and Steve Jones (CEO of Allied Universal – US leader in security services) attended Investor Day and discussed the strategic challenges their companies face. They also took part in a question-andanswer session with the financial community, where they spoke about events in their business sectors and the year’s challenges. You can listen to what they said on Wendel’s website, under the «Investor Days» heading.
At the same time, we published our total revenue for the first nine months of 2018, as well as our net asset value. The performance trends of our portfolio companies were mixed in the third quarter, prompting some of them to revise their expectations for the full year. Nevertheless, we were particularly pleased by Bureau Veritas’ positive momentum. We remain the controlling shareholder of Bureau Veritas, following the sale of 4.73% of the company’s share capital last October.
In sum, we simplified our portfolio considerably in 2018 and took advantage of a seller’s market to exit our investments in CSP Technologies, Mecatherm, Saham Group and Nippon Oil Pump, at attractive valuations. Together with the sale of 4.73% of Bureau Veritas, these divestments generated more than €1 billion in net proceeds, providing Wendel further means to grow its portfolio at opportune moments and to seek new high quality assets.
We are maintaining our efforts to simplify the portfolio, provided the terms are attractive, and to seek out a few investments of significant size in Europe, North America and Africa. We are confident that the quality of Wendel’s portfolio and our sound financial structure will enable us to create value for all shareholders.
Bernard Gautier and I wish you an excellent 2019!
André François-Poncet, Chairman of the Executive Board.