France Raises $920 Million Selling 2.1% Stake in EADS

The French government raised 707 million euros ($920 million) by selling a 2.1 percent stake in Airbus SAS parent European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co.

France sold 17.6 million shares through its unit Sogepa, according to a statement. The shares were offered at 40.20 euros to market price, according to the terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg News. UBS AG was the sole manager.

EADS dropped 1.7 percent to 39.97 euros at 1:15 p.m. in Paris.

The French state is reducing its stake to 12 percent, matching a German government holding in EADS, as part of the ownership change. Both countries will lose their veto rights over major decisions in the new structure.

Investors in Europe’s biggest aerospace company agreed in March to change its shareholder structure, clearing the way for luxury-carmaker Daimler AG and French publisher Lagardere SCA to sell their holdings, which both did earlier this month.

Toulouse, France-based EADS joins companies including Dutch cable television operator Ziggo NV that have seen shareholders sell stakes through block sales this year. The volume of secondary share sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa has risen about 60 percent to more than $30 billion so far this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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