By  on March 31, 2005

PARIS — Trading of Galeries’ stock on the Paris Bourse was suspended Tuesday and will remain so until further notice, according to Euronext, a European exchange, on news that a historic family alliance in French retailing is ending.

Groupe Galeries Lafayette said Tuesday that the Moulin family, which holds a 31.7 percent stake in the retailer, would link up with French bank BNP Paribas to buy out the 29.5 percent share held by the Meyer family.

The stock closed last Thursday at 230.80 euros, or $297.27.

Both families descend from the founders of the century-old Paris institution, which today encompasses consumer credit, home improvement stores, a supermarket chain and an information services division.

BNP said it had agreed with the Meyers to buy their stake for 235 euros a share, or about 585 million euros. At current exchange rates, that is equivalent to $302 and $753.5 million, respectively.

The Moulins and BNP Paribas said they will then offer 235 euros a share for all outstanding shares. The transaction’s total value is estimated at about 2.15 billion euros, or $2.77 billion.

The deal comes amid reports of growing tension between the Moulins and the Meyers. Their disagreements were thought to come to a head last December when French bank Crédit Mutuel bought a surprise 15 percent stake in the Galeries.

Leone-Noelle Meyer, the family matriarch, told a French news agency on Tuesday that she had agreed to sell her family’s share because she could no longer work with Philippe Houze, who, along with Philippe Lemoine, is Galeries’ co-president.

Both Lemoine and Houze married into the Moulin family.

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