The French government will raise about €1.3 billion from selling part of its holding in Renault in a move seen boosting long term sentiment in shares of the French car maker, Reuters reported.
Bankers handling the sale told Reuters the French government would sell about 8.5% of Europe’s fourth biggest car maker through the open market.
After the placement and a subsequent offering to employees, the French state will own about 15% of Renault’s capital, Reuters said, adding that the move was viewed positively by equity analysts as it will boost Renault’s freefloat and thus make it more liquid.
The French government, which appeared to time the sale to take advantage of a recent rally in Renault’s share price, said it would retain its current stake for now, Reuters noted.
“We intend to keep our 15% stake in the short to medium term. We think the state’s holding will contribute to the stability of the Renault shares,” a spokesman for the Economics and Finance Ministry told Reuters, which also said that analysts were upbeat about the longer-term effects.
Reuters noted that Renault’s stock has risen over 30% in the last two months, outperforming the automotive sector and French rival PSA‘s shares.
According to Reuters, JP Morgan said in a statement the shares were being offered to institutional investors outside the United States at a price between €48.65 and €49.15 per share in an accelerated bookbuild, a swift auction of shares among professional investors orchestrated by an investment bank with pricing usually decided at the end of the auction.
The offering size may be increased by another 2.4 million shares if demand is strong, Reuters added.