© Reuters. NO DECISION ON THE PRIVATIZATION OF ADP GROUP
PARIS (Reuters) – The government has not taken any decision nor any guidance regarding a possible privatisation of ADP Group, the operator of the Paris airports, said Tuesday the commissioner for the interests of the State, Martin Vial.
ADP group is part of the interests of the State cited in particular to help fund € 10 billion for the innovation expected to be operational by 1 January 2018.
“Contrary to what I read a lot in the press at this time, no decision or no direction has been taken by the government,” he said on France Info radio, echoing comments made Monday by a government source to Reuters.
According to Les Echos on Monday, the State is considering to grant to the ADP Group a concession for a very long time (50 or 100 years)giving rise to the term, extension or competition. And then in a second time, it will decide the form of the sale of the securities in the group, in blocks on the market, in batches, in the form of auction, or in full by otc with a limited competition.
The State intends to reduce its stake in la Française des Jeux (FDJ) from 72% to 25-30% by granting specific rights.
“This is part of all sets of activities for which we study the evolution of the capital”, said Martin Vial.
“Again, no decision has been taken, he added.
The innovation fund will notably be provided with the proceeds of recent entries in Engie (PA:ENGIE) and Renault (PA:RENA) for a little over two billion euros, has stated at the end of November the Prime minister Edouard Philippe.
The balance – about eight billion euros – will be formed for the start of public shareholdings which are not intended to be sold but a dividend-paying regular, he added.
“We will have other assignments in the coming months, in the course of the year 2018 to supply the funds for innovation,” added Martin Vial.
ADP group, in which the State holds 50,6%, a reverse in the form of dividends each year 60% of its net income, which is itself expected to pass € 435 million in 2016 to € 749 million in 2021, according to the consensus Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
“THERE WILL be NO BIG NIGHT”
Asked about the timing of a possible opening of the capital of the operator of Orly and Roissy, Martin Vial has said : “Our role is to study technically this is feasible, what is desirable, and of course the technical requirements and timetable for these operations”.
“And there will be no great evening in this area as there will be a presentation, if the government so decides, of businesses for which there will be a proposal to modify the thresholds of detention of the State before the Parliament,” he added, making particular reference to ADP Group.
According to a source close to the dossier, if it is decided, the privatization of ADP Group, whose valuation could be around € 25 billion, debt included, would not be formally launched in the second half of 2018, given the complexity of the case.
The question of whether the folder ADP figure in the law for the growth and the transformation of companies preparing for the spring, the minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, Martin Vial has said : “to my knowledge, this has not been arbitrated”.
Martin Vial was declared in mid-October during a hearing at the national Assembly that the State would make its decision “in the autumn” on the list of interests that it wishes to assign.
The question of whether the government was hesitant about decommitments partial in public companies, Martin Vial replied on Tuesday : “The government, since his appointment, has not shown much hesitation in the decisions he has taken”.
“As far as the role of the State shareholder, these decisions will be made in the next few months and if there are legislative provisions, they will also be announced in the course of the year 2018”, he said.
The EPA, which manages a portfolio of 81 companies in the transport, energy, services/finance, and industry, is also a shareholder of Airbus (PA:AIR), Air France-KLM (PA:AIRF), CNP Assurances (PA:CNPP), the bank Dexia, EDF (PA:EDF), the mining group Eramet (PA:ERMT), Orange, as well as in the oem aerospace and defense Safran (PA:SAF) and Thales (PA:TCFP).
A government source said on Monday to Reuters that at this stage it was not envisaged to review the shareholders ‘ agreement between the French State and Dassault Aviation to allow them to reduce their respective interests of 26% and 25%.
Charles Edelstenne, ceo of Dassault group, has said his side Tuesday in the Figaro that his group would be a likely candidate to ascend to the capital of Thales if the State were to opt out.
(Cyril Altmeyer, edited by Elizabeth Pineau)