France – La Française des Jeux launches IPO on Paris stock exchangeBy Phil - 11 November 2019
La Française des Jeux (FDJ), the operator of France’s national lottery games, has launched its Initial Public Offering on the Euronext Paris stock exchange in a move that could raise more than €1.5bn.
The transaction will involve the French State selling a maximum of 99,320,000 existing FDJ shares, which represent a maximum of 52 per cent of FDJ’s share capital.
“Today marks the opening of the final stage leading to the privatisation of La Française des Jeux, with the launch of its Initial Public Offering on the Euronext Paris stock exchange. In addition to the tranche set aside for institutional investors, I am pleased that a significant portion of the offer is reserved for individuals, including our distributors, as well as employees, who will benefit from preferential conditions to buy FDJ shares,” Stéphane Pallez, Chairwoman and CEO of FDJ said.
“We hope that many of them will take part in the operation to become long-standing shareholders of a strong, dynamic, innovative and responsible company. The fruits of our growth will be shared with shareholders by means of an attractive dividend policy, with the aim of paying out 80 per cent of net income as early as 2020,” Ms Pallez added. “This privatisation project opens a new chapter in the company’s history.”
The French government will cut its 72 per cent stake in Francaise des Jeux to 20 per cent following the offering, and will create an independent gambling regulator. The company, which had revenue last year of €1.8bn and profit of €170m, has its roots in a national lottery created in 1933 to aid soldiers injured in World War I. The company expects 2019 revenue to reach about €1.9bn