French National Lottery And Betting Group Up For Sale

France planning to sell 50 percent of Francaise des Jeux group though IPO

The French publication Journal du Dimanche caught the eye of the gambling world Sunday when it reported that the French government is planning to sell a stake of around 50 percent in national lottery and betting group Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) via a stock market listing as part of a wave of government business privatisations.

The government of president Emmanuel Macron has already announced that it is sell up to Euro 10 billion in state owned enterprises to finance an election pledge to create a new fund for finance innovation, the newspaper reported.

Investment bank BNP Paribas as well as law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP were mandated by France’s state holding company APE to pave the way for a sale of FDJ, which is 72 percent owned by the government.

The privatisation will involve the sale of shares in FDJ to the public through an IPO in an overhaul of the betting group that should be finalised no later than early 2019, the report claimed.

The state will retain just 25 percent of FDJ, while it is understood that a private investor in the gaming or media sector may also bid for a slice.

The Ministry for the Economy declined to comment on the report, which has not been confirmed by state holding firm APE.