EDF: The AMF responds to criticism from small shareholders of the proposed takeover bid targeting EDF

(BFM Bourse) – The stock market regulator approves in particular the assessment made by the independent expert on equity on this plan to delist by the State for a price of 12 euros per share. It also specifies the timetable for the operation.

In its opinion on the conformity of the project of renationalization of EDF by the French State, the Authority of the financial markets (AMF) explained Wednesday the motivations of its decision to the small shareholders, who criticize this operation.

On Tuesday, the French stock market policeman gave the green light to this operation. He specifies this Wednesday his motivations and the timetable for the simplified takeover bid.

The acquisition of the shares will take place from November 24 to December 22, a window shifted from the dates initially planned due to the postponement of the AMF’s compliance decision. Three meetings will have been necessary for the authority to examine the file and render its decision.

A “particularly suitable” method

The AMF returns in particular to the disputes expressed by small shareholders of EDF, mainly employees and former employees, who are protesting against the “favorable” opinion issued on October 27 by the board of directors (CA) of EDF concerning the renationalisation of the group and especially the price of 12 euros per share proposed by the State, considered too low.

A report produced by an independent expert and presented to the Board of Directors had validated this award.

These shareholders, who jointly hold less than 1.5% of the capital, are demanding a minimum of 15 euros per share instead of 12.

According to the AMF, the independent expert’s method of financial analysis is “particularly adapted to the characteristics” of EDF, because it takes into account “the very different activities and markets” in which the energy company operates and “its business outlook”. The conclusions of this report concerning the offer price are therefore consistent for the stock market watchdog.

In addition, the authority recalls that any “decisions taken by the French State in its missions to regulate the energy sector”, were “clearly identified over time in the company’s documentation as risk factors “, and cannot be ignored by shareholders.

Regarding the favorable opinion issued by EDF’s board of directors, the AMF does not mention any irregularity but recalls that it is not “invested by any text with the power to rule on the regularity of the deliberations at the end which a board of directors renders its reasoned opinion on a public offer”.

The French state formalized in mid-July its desire to control 100% of the French energy company, of which it already owns 84%. This operation, costing 9.7 billion euros, is strategic for the State, which wants to build six new-generation EPR nuclear reactors, with an option for eight others, and also aims to send a signal of confidence to debt investors.

(With AFP)

JM – ©2022 BFM Bourse

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