Bruno Le Maire, France’s Economic & Finance Minister, has confirmed that the En Marche government will maintain its ‘Pacte Loi’ agenda, authorising for the IPO of Française des Jeux (FDJ) to take place from 7-20 November.
Confirming En Marche’s first privatisation, Le Maire has sanctioned for FDJ to list its shares on the Paris Euronext exchange as the French state sells its shareholdings in Europe’s second largest lottery operator.
Seeking to raise a reported €1 billion, the French government will reduce its 72% shareholding in FDJ to 20%, maintaining the position of largest minority shareholder.
IPO terms see the French government add no share limits on FDJ’s listing, with the transaction adding further value for public investors who will be rewarded with one free share for every 10 shares purchased on top of a 2% discount on FDJ offer price.
“For individuals, subject to validation by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, one free share will be granted for every ten shares purchased, if these shares are held for eighteen months,” said Le Maire. “I also want a 2% discount applied against the price of each purchased share.
“We hope that this privatization will be a popular success and that as many people as possible will participate in it.”
The French state confirms that it will retain FDJ tax charges and social security revenues, contributing circa €3.5 billion for France’s charity and heritage foundations.
The IPO of FDJ has triggered a review of France’s frameworks governing gambling, with En Marche ordered to develop new regulatory body ‘ANJ’ which will oversee all forms of gambling, replacing ARJEL and France’s Economic Ministry as supervising bodies.
Capital raised from FDJ’s IPO is set to be attributed to En Marche’s ‘enterprise fund’ which seeks to raise €10 billion towards helping France’s new technology enterprises.