France ready to float EDF, GDF and Areva

8th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 8 (AFP) - France is ready to open the capital of three of its three principal energy groups to private capital this year, Finance Minister Herve Gaymard said on Tuesday.

PARIS, Feb 8 (AFP) - France is ready to open the capital of three of its three principal energy groups to private capital this year, Finance Minister Herve Gaymard said on Tuesday.

"If conditions are right", shares in gas utility Gaz de France would be floated on the stock exchange by the summer (northern hemisphere), in the nuclear power generation group Areva by the end of the summer, and in Electricite de France by the end of the year, he said.

Presenting the outlines of economic policy by the centre-right government for the next 30 months, Gaymard also said that shares in Sanef, a company operating toll motorways in the north and east of the country, would be floated on the stock market by the beginning of April.

He declared: "We have the ambition to help our state-controlled industries to adapt to succeed in the competitive world. We must also provide them with the means. This will be an essential part of what we do in 2005."

By opening up the capital of these companies, the government would give them the flexibility and means they needed for development.

The government has long made known its intention to open no more than 30 percent of the capital in EDF and GDF to private investors. The opening of capital in Areva, of which 4.5 percent is already traded in the form of investment certificates, is expected to involve 35-40 percent of the business.

Earlier in his presentation, Gaymard had said: "The state cannot remain a spectator of big economic developments. It has a duty, to our fellow citizens and to entrepreneurs: to create an environment which is more favourable to the development of companies and to their adjustment to face competitors."

© AFP

Subject: French News

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