Shares of GDF Suez fell 2.5 percent on Wednesday after the French government sold part of its stake in the gas and power group – offloading 3.1 percent .
Seventy five million shares were sold at a price of 20.18 euros each.
That was at the bottom of a range for the share placement and was a 3.0 percent discount on Tuesday’s closing price.
Paris could use at least some of the about 1.5 billion euros raised to finance the state’s acquisition of a stake in engineering group Alstom.
It is to buy 20 percent of Alstom as part of the deal whereby General Electric will take over Alstom’s power and grid businesses. Alstom’s shares rose on Wednesday.
Following the placement, the state will have a 33.6 percent stake in GDF Suez, the finance and economy ministries said in a joint statement.
“This operation is part of a policy of active management of state investments, which should help provide resources to growth areas of economic development and state debt, in accordance with the economic and strategic interests of the state,” the statement said.
The shares of several companies in which the French state holds a stake have lost ground because of the Alstom-GE deal with investors fearing sales by the government.