France raises €3.4bn with France Telecom sale
Still owns hefty stake
The French government has sold some of its stake in France Telecom, raising €3.4bn to cut debt.
The sale was announced on Sunday and the shares went for €22.5 each, the lower end of the expected range.
The French government's share of France Telecom shrinks from 41 per cent to 35 per cent. It intends to remain a shareholder in the medium term.
Demand for the shares was muted due to concerns about the sector as a whole and that the sale was a political rather than economic response to events.
Prime minister Dominique de Villepin made cutting debt a priority when he was appointed last week. France needs to cut debt to get back within European Union limits. The new PM is expected to detail three further privatisations soon. ®