Shares of state-owned Gaz de France go on sale

23rd June 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 23 (AFP) - Shares of France's state-owned Gaz de France (GDF) go on sale on Thursday for between EUR 20.7 and 24 to institutional investors, the ministry of economy and finance announced.

PARIS, June 23 (AFP) - Shares of France's state-owned Gaz de France (GDF) go on sale on Thursday for between EUR 20.7 and 24 to institutional investors, the ministry of economy and finance announced.

An initial public offering of shares in GDF begins on Thursday, with the state retaining 78 to 80 percent of the capital, the ministry said earlier this month.

The offer to private investors will be open-priced and include one free share for 10 purchased.

"If market conditions permit, a maximum 121.3 million shares will be made available with the creation of a maximum of 80.9 million new shares," the ministry said in a statement.

AFP has calculated that this would bring the state between EUR 2.51 and 2.911 billion.

Offers open on Thursday and are due to end on Wednesday July 6, the ministry said without giving any information on when GDF shares would first be quoted on the stock exchange.

Gaz de France announced in February that net profit rose 14.9 percent in 2004 reaching EUR 1.046 billion, on an 8.9 percent increase in sales to EUR 18.129 billion.

Trade unions strongly oppose the partial privatisation of energy utilities, and the ministry's June 8 announcement on GDF was quickly followed by three unions reiterating their opposition.

The announcement of the privatisation of GDF followed the sale earlier this month of a little over six percent in France Telecom, which dealers said was less than a success.

Facing weak economic growth and public finances out of line with EU rules, the government earmarked the EUR 3.4 billion it expects from the sale of the shares for debt reduction.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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