Belgium puts 2.7% of the capital of BNP Paribas up for sale

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PARIS (Reuters) – Belgium, the largest shareholder of BNP Paribas, announced on Tuesday that it has launched the sale of a third of the capital it holds in the French bank, an operation whose amount has not been specified but which, according to estimates, could bring two billion euros to the Belgian State.

This sale, carried out by the accelerated constitution of an order book with qualified investors, will reduce the participation of the Belgian State from 7.8% to around 5.1% of the capital, specified the participation agency. of the Belgian State (SFPI) in a press release.

Belgium entered the capital of BNP Paribas in 2008 following the rescue plan of the Belgian financial group Fortis, taken over by the French bank within the framework of this plan.

At present, the Belgian State is the largest shareholder of BNP Paribas, ahead of the Amundi and BlackRock funds which respectively hold 7% and 6% of the bank’s capital, according to Refinitiv data.

No comment was immediately made by BNP Paribas.

BNP Paribas Fortis, BofA Securities, Goldman Sachs International are serving as joint bookrunners for the offer, while Lazard and Allen & Overy LLP are serving as financial advisor and legal advisor respectively to SFPI, the statement said. .

Bookrunners told investors during the day that the share price would likely be set at 64.96 euros, a 1.8% discount to BNP Paribas’ closing price, according to messages that Reuters was able to consult.

Based on the market value of the bank, the agreement could therefore be worth more than 2 billion euros.

(Report Charlotte Van Campenhout, Tassilo Hummel, Mathieu Rosemain, Pablo Cerqueiro Mayo; French version Bertrand Boucey and Jean Terzian)

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