France to sell 50% stake in national lottery through IPO

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The French government is moving ahead with its plans to sell 50% of its stake in Francaise des Jeux (FDJ), the national lottery company, through an initial public offering (IPO) at the stock exchange.

According to a report in the Journal du Dimanche, the move is intended to attract money to fund finance innovation.

Earlier this month it was reported that the government wanted to sell part of the company, but it was not disclosed how much would be given away. The French State holds 72 per cent of the FDJ, while the rest of the capital is held by small shareholders, such as the “Gueules cassés”, an association of veterans with 9.2 per cent, or the employees of the company (5 per cent).

The government announced its plans to sell US$12.2 billion worth of stakes in state-owned companies in order to generate money to fund finance innovation, one of the pillars of President Emmanuel Macron’s election. The lottery company has been in the spotlight as one of the principal candidates to be privatised.

The state, which would still retain a 35 per cent stake in the company, decided to open the sale up to the public through a market flotation in order to finalise the sell in the first months of 2019.

Francaise des Jeux is currently the second-biggest lottery in Europe after Italy’s Lottomatica. The state also enjoys the monopoly on lottery games and scratch games, and it appears that it intends to keep it that way because at least 3.1 billion of the 14.3 billion euros spent by players ended up in the coffers of the state.


Source: European Gaming Industry News