France divests $614M Airbus stake

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Jan 16, 2014 03:09 AM EST

The French state has divested a 1% holding in European aircraft firm Airbus Group to institutional buyers, according to the economy minister on Thursday. The transaction is valued at €451 million ($614 million), wrote The Economic Times.

The divestment of around 8 million shares brings France's present holding in the publicly traded firm to 11%. Germany, an Airbus Group partner, also holds an 11% stake in aircraft and defense corporation. Airbus Group was formerly known as EADS, the report detailed.

On Wednesday, French Economy Minister Pierre Moscovici announced the sale of the said stake. Moscovici said the deal would lower the government's holding to a level same as that of Germany's, in accordance with a bilateral pact. Germany recently upped its interest in the company to 11%. Meanwhile, the Spanish government holds around 4% of the firm, the report said.

The French government had been offloading some of its state holdings in several companies to reduce its debt, which is equivalent to 94% of its Gross domestic product (GDP). In 2013, the state raised €2 billion through share sales, almost half of which came from an earlier sell-off of Airbus shares, The Economic Times reported.

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