- Title: French lottery group gets green light for IPO
- Date: 18th October 2019
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (FILE - JULY 8, 2011) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF LOTTERY KIOSK SIGN FOR FRANCAISE DES JEUX (FDJ) LOTTERY COMPANY VARIOUS OF MAN FILLING OUT LOTTERY TICKET EUROMILLIONS POSTER AT KIOSK
- Embargoed: 1st November 2019 09:06
- Keywords: Stephane Pallez France Francaise des Jeux French government Emmanuel Macron sports betting FDJ privatisation French lottery group
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001B1MIS07
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: QUALITY AS INCOMING
State-controlled lottery operator Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) on Friday (October 18) kicked off the first step of a long-awaited privatisation drive in France, saying it had approval from the country's stock market operator to register its listing document.
The price of the initial public offering, which the French government wants to attract as many small shareholders as possible, will be determined next month, the FDJ's Chairwoman and CEO Stephane Pallez said.
"It's impossible to answer that question (about price) today because the (French) state has its own process to fix a price," she told RTL radio.
"We're more talking about dozens of euros than a hundred euros," Pallez added, saying a huge marketing campaign would be launched at the end of next week.
The privatisation of companies, such as FDJ and airports group ADP, is integral to President Emmanuel Macron's plans to raise money to fund innovation projects and boost the overall economy.
It comes at a turbulent time for stock market listings in Europe, however, with Italian luxury yacht maker Ferretti becoming the fourth group to cancel its flotation on Thursday (October 17) amid global trade tensions and Brexit angst.
The French government has said the subscription period for FDJ shares will run from Nov. 7-20 and has indicated the privatisation could raise 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion).
Successor of the National Lottery, created in 1933 to help war invalids, FDJ employs 2,500 people across two main business lines: lottery and sports betting.
FDJ expects revenue this year of around 1.9 billion euros and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) - excluding costs related to the IPO - of 325 million euros, versus 319 million in 2018.
For 2020, the company sees a 5 percent like-for-like increase in revenue and an EBITDA margin in line with the 19 percent expected this year on an adjusted basis.
(Production: Pascale Antonie)
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