France Plans to Sell 50% of its Lottery Group

The Francaise des Jeux is the nationalised French lottery company that runs all the lottery draws in France, including the French branch of the EuroMillions Lottery.

This week a major French newspaper reported that as part of a wave of privatisations, the Francaise des Jeux is to be sold, or at least half of it, as 10 billion euros worth of shares in nationalised companies are sold off to finance innovation.

The move is part of an election pledge by President Emmanuel Macron, but not everyone is behind the idea, adding to criticisms of Macron as the French president.

Right now the Francaise des Jeux is 72% owned by the government, but with the state sale through stock market flotation, this would drop to 22% as half of the company is sold off in shares. It’s likely that any deal will be finalised by early 2019 according to the French press.

The Francaise Des Jeux is Europe’s second largest lottery draw, second only to Italy’s Lottomatica, as things stand France raises a lot through lottery revenue, for both local draws and the French arm of the EuroMillions Lottery. This means that any private investor could take a big slice of the capital in the future, something some have compared to killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

While initial newspaper reports indicate that this deal will be going ahead, the French economy ministry declined to comment and there hasn’t yet been an official declaration concerning the possible sale.

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