Privatisation of Paris airports ready for takeoff

31st May 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 31, 2006 (AFP) - The French government launched the partial privatization of Paris airport operator ADP overnight Tuesday, in a move that is expected to bring up to EUR 800 million into public coffers.

PARIS, May 31, 2006 (AFP) - The French government launched the partial privatization of Paris airport operator ADP overnight Tuesday, in a move that is expected to bring up to EUR 800 million into public coffers.

Shares in Aéroports de Paris, fully owned by the state, will be sold in a public offering in mid-June at prices for institutional investors starting at between EUR 42 and 48.50 per share, the finance ministry said.

Share prices for individual investors would be one euro less, it said.

In an announcement made in the middle of the night, after having received the green light from the country's stock market regulator, the ministry said the state would retain 67.4 to 71.6 percent of ADP and gain between 617 to 800 million euros for the sale.

The planned operation would value ADP, which manages the Orly and Roissy airports near the French capital and is Europe's second-largest operator, at EUR 4.2 to 4.8 billion.

At the same time ADP is to undertake a capital increase on the order of EUR 600 million, through the issue of 14.6 million new shares, which it will use to help finance a 2.7-billion-euro investment program from 2006 to 2010.

"By floating these shares, ADP will gain the means to modernize and further develop," the ministry said.

The deal follows on similar sell-offs of government stakes in major industrial firms, including EDF, Gaz de France and three motorway operators, and its earnings will be earmarked for reducing the public debt.

Up to 10 percent of the shares will be reserved for employees of the company.

ADP, which last year handled a record 78.7 million passengers, hopes to increase its passenger capacity by 19.4 million over five years.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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