October 8, 2019 / 6:52 AM / 10 days ago

French lottery group FDJ's 1 billion euro privatization imminent

FILE PHOTO: Logos of France's national lottery company Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) are seen in Nice, France, October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - The privatization of France’s national lottery company Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) is expected in a “few weeks” and could raise 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion), FDJ head Stephane Pallez told BFM Business TV on Tuesday.

France’s privatization push for companies such as airports group ADP (ADP.PA) and FDJ are integral to President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to raise money to fund innovation projects and boost the economy.

Pallez’s comments echoed those made last week by Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

The French state, which controls 72% of FDJ, has said it plans to retain at least 20% of the company after the stake sale by Europe’s second-biggest lottery operator.

BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA), Citigroup (C.N), Goldman Sachs (GS.N), SocGen (SOGN.PA), Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA), HSBC (HSBA.L), Natixis (CNAT.PA) and CIC are the investment banks working on the FDJ deal.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and David Goodman

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