In a bid to lift its share ownership to 19.73 percent, the French government has been purchasing more shares in automaker Renault, after a resolution to be introduced at the upcoming annual shareholder meeting might seek to minimize its control over the company.
According to the recent declaration of the French finance ministry, the state has already set up a plan in motion to acquire up to 14 million Renault shares – around 4.73 percent of the carmaker’s publicly traded holding – through a broker. The latter firm has already purchased 9.56 million shares and will get the rest of them in a capped price transaction. The shares are valued at between 814 million euros and 1.232 billion euros ($1.33 billion), with a put option in place for six months. “This deal shows the State’s intention to use all the arms at the disposal of investors today to promote a progressive, long-term kind of capitalism that supports workers and helps companies grow,” commented Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron.
Last year the French government introduced a law that seeks to grant double-voting rights to investors who disclose the shares are in their name and then hold on to the stakes at least for a couple of years. But to fight that, existing shareholders in the companies can out rule the system and keep the one-share, one-vote system. A resolution for that has been mulled for Renault’s general meeting on April 30 and the government wants to have the voting power to dismiss it.