Paris, Lille, Lyon … the FDJ's Tour de France to convince small shareholders

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The French games (FDJ) goes to meet the scholars. On Thursday evening, the company, which launched its privatization, made stops in Lyon (Rhône), after Paris, Lille (North) and Nantes (Loire-Atlantique) since the beginning of the week, and until then Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin ) this Friday night. A tour of France to encourage small investors to invest.

Of course, there were not as many people as on the roadside in the middle of summer to see the runners of the FDJ cycling team, but they were nearly two hundred brave snow to listen to the representatives of the company draws its flattering portrait. For the occasion, the École normale superieure, in the Gerland district, southwest of Lyon, had made available the amphitheater Charles Merieux. Gray hair was – by far! – the most represented, but parity was assured, with as many men as women, proof that the management of finances is more and more shared, and that the investments of "good father" now wear very badly their name .

The operation is already a success

While climbing on the platform, Charles Lantieri, the No. 2 of the FDJ, had a smile. Whatever happens, the operation is already a success. The share reserved for individuals has already been subscribed for a value greater than 600 million euros, the amount of the theoretical target that had been set. For its part, Stephane Pallez, the executive director, who performs the same "seduction operation" – but on a global scale, with institutional investors – also realizes exciting times of passage. The share reserved for institutional investors was filled as early as Thursday, November 7, the same day as the launch of the subscription period.

In Lyon Thursday, to relax everyone – because the atmosphere is studious, a visitor on two peels stock market graphics – the evening begins with a publicity FDJ on giant screen. It is that of Pierre, winner of the EuroMillions, and his famous "Au revoir president" in underwear and tie, passed to posterity. "I wish you all one day to be Pierre, but in the meantime there is always a way to buy FDJ shares," continues Charles Lantieri with a keen sense of transition. With a sudden remote control, he triggers on the screen behind him an avalanche of numbers testifying to "the growth and improvement of the profitability of the company".

No worries, individuals can continue to invest even if the threshold of 600 million euros has been reached. If the amount reserved for them is reached, subscriptions below € 5,000 will be given priority. Those who have asked for more, on the other hand, will only get part of their request. "The FDJ is a useful venture for all, 3.5 billion euros redistributed to the community, money for the" Gueules cassees "and veterans, a commitment to the renovation of heritage," plead the representatives of the company on the platform. "Do not push, it's still not a society of general interest," growls Genevieve in the back of his seat.

The fear of seeing the action fall on the first day

The second part of the evening is devoted to questions. As a tribute to Raymond Poulidor, who died this Wednesday and deemed close to his money, those present do not revolve around the bush. "You told us 122 million euros of dividend, that's how much per share? Asks a big man's voice. Answer: 64 cents. Another worries, with a certain cynicism: "You plan to develop advertising against the risks of addiction, but it does not risk to lower the bets? The audience takes notes.

Finally, to give the pens time to breathe a little, a little laughter mocks the assembly: "Will the dividend be paid in cash or scratch tickets? The parenthesis is short-lived. Another chained with the question that burns everyone's lips from the beginning: "Is there a risk of a downward correction on November 21, at the first listing? ". Clearly, the share price falls from its IPO. In theory, yes. But the FDJ is reassuring: "Over the past 25 years, we have had 23 years of growth, insists a speaker at the microphone. This is proof that our business model is very strong. "

Jacques, 79: "The company has potential"

The "seduction operation" of the FDJ in Lyon rather convinced Jacques, 79 years old. LP / Nicolas Foray
The "seduction operation" of the FDJ in Lyon rather convinced Jacques, 79 years old. LP / Nicolas Foray

Good foot, good eye, Jacques, 79 years came to smell the stock market before deciding to invest. Ex-company director, this retired Lyon does not do things at random. Chance, on the contrary, he hates that. "That's the reason I never played the games of the FDJ," he laughs. Becoming a shareholder of the company, on the other hand, "it's something else, thinking and reasoning come into play, and the investment can be lucrative".

Jacques has 5,000 euros to invest, but he hesitates between several companies … Well-informed bursar, he performs every month a dozen operations and, over the last ten months, his assets have increased from 250,000 to 300,000 euros! The "seduction operation" of the FDJ in Lyon rather convinced him. "The company has potential because, even if it's not my case, the French love FDJ games. If they want to ruin themselves, they have the right, "he chuckles, aware that the bad fortune of the players will … the happiness of the shareholders.



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