EDF tops expectations with float price18/11/2005 - 15:54:25
Electricite de France (EDF) is set to raise up to €7bn when it is partially privatised next week, it was announced today.
France’s finance minister Thierry Breton said there had been a rush in demand for the shares, which will cost individual investors €32 and institutions €33. This was at the top end of the previously announced price range.
The state-owned electricity firm, which runs London Energy and Seeboard Energy in the UK, is expected to have an overall market value of more than €50bn on Monday’s flotation.
Mr Breton said the French government had increased the proportion of new shares reserved for individual investors to 60% from 50% in response to strong demand.
He said the interest from French households reflected their “emotional attachment to EDF and their desire to support its development”.
EDF will have more individual shareholders than any other French company, he added. The French government will keep an 85% stake in the firm.
The company generates around 7% of the UK’s electricity and employs 11,300 people in the UK.
It supplies energy services to more than five million UK households through its brands which also include SWEB Energy and EDF Energy. It also has contracts with BAA’s Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, the London Underground and Canary Wharf.
The move follows the stock market launch of EDF’s sister company Gaz de France earlier this year, which was heavily over-subscribed by institutions.
EDF employs a total of around 160,000 staff, providing services to 42.1 million customers worldwide including 36.2 million in Europe.
Cash raised through the share sale will help fund a €40bn drive to expand production and distribution capacity, mainly in France.
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