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France sells its lottery for $2 billion

Nov 22, 2019, 9:19 am

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France will bank 1.8 billion euros (US$2 billion) from selling down its stake in the country's lottery operator, according to the final price set on Wednesday in a listing that will serve as a test for France's privatization push.

President Emmanuel Macron's pro-business government kicked off the biggest wave of privatizations in over a decade with the initial public offering (IPO) of Francaise des Jeux (FDJ), the organization that operates the country's lottery. It is seeking to raise money for an innovation fund, to finance technology investments.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire confirmed on Wednesday that the IPO was priced at 19.90 euros per share for institutional investors, the upper end of the range the shares were offered at.

Some 500,000 retail buyers also placed orders in the listing, and will make up 40.5% of shareholders, the government said. Their shares included a discount, and were priced at 19.50 euros each.

Overall, investors placed total orders worth 11 billion euros, Le Maire said, calling the IPO a "considerable success".

FDJ shares started trading on Thursday.

The flotation is one of the biggest in Europe this year, and comes after several other IPOs were cancelled or postponed due to investor jitters over Britain's rocky EU exit and a simmering trade war between the United States and China.

The privatization will generate 2 billion euros in proceeds for state coffers when including a 380 million-euro payment the FDJ owes the state to retain its monopoly rights for its lottery and sports betting business.

The deal could yet embolden the government to press ahead with other big asset sales, although the more lucrative but politically trickier disposal of airports operator ADP is still hanging in the balance.

Opponents are calling for a referendum on that sale, with a petition to stop it that runs until March and which aims to garner the required 4.7 million signatures.

Le Maire said on Wednesday there were no other state assets earmarked for sale in the short term.

The French state will have 27.85% of the FDJ after the IPO, or 20% if an over-allotment option, which is there is to satisfy excess demand, is used.

NY Times, Lottery Post Staff

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7 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by NY10.
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Raven62's avatar - binary
25
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The transfer of ownership, property or business from the government to the private sector is termed privatization. The government ceases to be the owner of the entity or business. The process in which a publicly-traded company is taken over by a few people is also called privatization and the end to: Of the People, By the People , and For the People.(ie: Democracy)

A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

    Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
    50
    Chief Bottle Washer
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    "...of the people, by the people, for the people..." is a phrase from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address — not exactly something the French people (or those from other European countries) would claim as their own principle.

     

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      Marana AZ
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      August 3, 2013
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      It'll be interesting to see what privatization does to prizes.  With additional profit and debt payoff extraction, payouts tend to fall.

        Avatar
        725 5th Av,New York,NY 10022
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        April 9, 2019
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        Worlds biggest IPO is coming next month...

        Worlds largest and most profitable company

        Saudi state oil giant going public

        Could be worth between $1.7-$2 Trillion

        Only 1.5 percent of company shares are on sale which could be $25 Billion + staggering numbers those

          Artist77's avatar - batman14

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          "...of the people, by the people, for the people..." is a phrase from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address — not exactly something the French people (or those from other European countries) would claim as their own principle.

          C'est vrai.

          Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grace.  We will rebuild!

            Avatar
            Jacksonville
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            March 26, 2014
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            Worlds biggest IPO is coming next month...

            Worlds largest and most profitable company

            Saudi state oil giant going public

            Could be worth between $1.7-$2 Trillion

            Only 1.5 percent of company shares are on sale which could be $25 Billion + staggering numbers those

            Also a brilliant political play. If most of your citizens are invested in your country's oil company and make a ton of money, they are much less likely to complain or revolt against leadership.

              Avatar
              725 5th Av,New York,NY 10022
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              April 9, 2019
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              Also a brilliant political play. If most of your citizens are invested in your country's oil company and make a ton of money, they are much less likely to complain or revolt against leadership.

              World is all about Power and Money for the past at least 500 years