Home French senate The French Senate gives the green light to the decline of the State’s share in Engie

The French Senate gives the green light to the decline of the State’s share in Engie


PARIS, February 6 (Reuters) – The French Senate voted on Wednesday in favor of the state’s authorization to lower its minority stake in the gas and electricity group Engie, despite the rejection of a proposal to privatize the operator ADP airport at the start of the week.

The French State holds 23.64% of the capital of Engie and 34% of the voting rights of the shares, and is required by law to retain at least 33% of the voting rights.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told the Senate that if Engie wanted to issue new capital to finance its expansion, the state would have no choice but to subscribe to comply with the law.

“This is why we are asking for the possibility of lowering the State’s participation in Engie below the legal limit,” Le Maire told senators.

The government has given no indication of how much of its shares it might want to sell.

The Senate, controlled by the conservative opposition, voted 250 to 92 in favor of the government’s proposal.

A non-vote could only have delayed the operation, rather than blocking it definitively, since the National Assembly lower house of parliament – where the centrist LREM party of President Emmanuel Macron has a comfortable majority – has the final vote .

“The logic is the same for all sales of government assets, we want to give (these companies) the chance to grow and develop,” said Le Maire, adding that Engie would increase its investments in renewable energy. , in particular biogas and offshore wind.

The planned sale of more Engie shares is part of a government plan to raise around 10 billion euros ($ 11.4 billion) for innovation under its “Pact Law” legislation. (Report by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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