PSA Sold BNP Paribas Stake for 177 Million Euro image

PSA Peugeot Citroen recently sold for about 177 million euro ($229 million) its stake in French bank BNP Paribas, part of its plan to boost financing.

The sale took place yesterday, March 14th, and the 4 million shares were sold through an accelerated book building and Societe Generale was the only book runner and lead manager. The shares were sold for the price of 44.24 euro each.

PSA Peugeot Citroen has begun to sell assets as the European auto market prepares to drop for the sixth consecutive year in 2013. Last year the French automaker reported a loss of 576 million euro in operating profit as the financial crisis made industrywide sales on the continent slump.

On February 13th, CEO Philippe Varin vowed to take PSA Peugeot Citroen to a break-even level by the end of 2014 by cutting spending and implementing a new strategy which includes moving the Peugeot brand upscale. In 2012 the French government offered guarantees of 7 billion euro of new bond sales by Banque PSA Finance unit. Last month the automaker reported second-half writedown of 4.13 billion euro due to the plunging auto sales amid the European crisis.