French Government Moves Forward On Plans To Sell State Gambling Asset

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Oct 13, 2017

Francaise des Jeux and Aeroports de Paris reportedly up for sale

The future of French state-owned gambling group Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) and airport management company Aeroports de Paris (ADP) has been the subject of speculation since July this year, when the Finance Ministry announced plans to sell Euro 10 billion ($11.8 billion) worth of its stakes in state-owned companies in order to raise money for a new fund to finance innovation, an election pledge of President Emmanuel Macron.

Back then sources told French business and political reporters to expect privatisation developments in October 2017, although these would not include the defence, telecommunications, aerospace and nuclear industries (see previous InfoPowa reports).

Their assessment appears to have been accurate following media reports this week that the government has been quietly talking to law firms and banking groups with a view to exploring the possibilities and implications arising from the sale of FDJ and ADP.

The French government has a 72 percent stake in FDJ, which reportedly has 26 million punters on its books and turned over Euro 14.3 billion last financial year. It is respected as Europe’s second largest betting company, overshadowed only by Italy’s Lottomatica.

The state has a 50.63 stake in ADP, and there is likely to be considerable interest in acquiring such a valuable asset.

The privatisation of FDJ and ADP will likely entail the necessity for legislative changes, according to some observers.

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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