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September 26, 2017

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France raises 451 million euros after sale of 1 pct. stake in Airbus Group

PARIS--The French state has raised 451 million euros (US$614 million) by selling a one percent stake in European aircaft and defence corporation Airbus Group, the economy minister said Thursday.

The divestment, of around 8 million shares to institutional buyers, brings France's stake in the publicly traded group to 11 percent — the same as Airbus Group partner Germany.

Airbus Group — the new name for what used to be known as EADS — has seen its shares gain 74.63 percent over the past year, to 56.44 euros per share, in large part thanks to management reforms carried out in 2013.

French Economy Minister Pierre Moscovici late Wednesday announced the sale, saying it would lower the French government's stake to a level on par with that of Germany's, as per a bilateral pact.

France has been selling off some of its state holdings in companies in a bid to bring down its debt mountain, which is equivalent to 94 percent of GDP.

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