France wants banks to become core Euronext shareholders -report

Fri Apr 5, 2013 3:11am EDT
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PARIS, April 5 (Reuters) - France wants banks to form a group of core shareholders in the Euronext European stock market operator if it is spun off next year in a public offering but faces resistance from lenders, French daily Les Echos said.

"Paris would like a group of banks to enter Euronext's capital through a private placement at the time of the public offering," Les Echos said on Friday, citing sources close to matter.

The goal is to secure a stable shareholder structure for Euronext, which operates the Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Lisbon exchanges, protecting it from possible takeover attempts, the paper said.

But French banks, angry about a barrage of government taxes, are dragging their feet and the French Treasury recently had to cancel a meeting with the heads of the main French banks on the matter, Les Echos said.

Officials at France's three top banks, BNP Paribas , Societe Generale and Credit Agricole , could not immediately be reached for comment.

The French Treasury was also unavailable for comment.

France is also mulling other scenarios such as getting private equity funds or even foreign sovereign funds to buy into Euronext, the paper said.

IntercontinentalExchange announced in December it had agreed to buy transatlantic market operator NYSE Euronext for $8.2 billion. The deal is being vetted by European and U.S. regulators.

ICE has said it will try to spin off the Euronext European stock market businesses in a public offering.

NYSE bought Euronext for 8 billion euros in 2007.