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France Sold 3.1% Stake in Safran for 449 Million Euros

France sold 13 million shares of Safran SA, Europe’s second-biggest maker of aircraft engines, for 449 million euros ($576 million), the finance ministry said.

The offer represents about 3.12 percent of Safran’s outstanding stock, according to a statement from the ministry today. The shares were sold at 34.50 euros, the low end of the range included in a term sheet obtained yesterday by Bloomberg News. That’s a discount of as much as 2.8 percent to yesterday’s closing price.

Safran shares fell as much as 3.8 percent to 34.14 euros today in Paris, and closed down 1.5 percent at 34.96 euros.

France owned about 30 percent of Safran at the end of last year, according to the company’s website. The Paris-based aerospace company, led by Chief Executive Officer Jean-Paul Herteman, generated 13.6 billion euros in revenue in 2012.

Societe Generale SA is managing the offering, the term sheet shows. The stock has climbed about 27 percent in the past year.

The government is Safran’s largest investor with 27.08 percent of the company’s capital, and plans to continue as a major shareholder, according to a statement.

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