(Boursier.com) – Carlos Tavares, head of PSA Peugeot Citroën up to the plate to defend the place of the state in the ownership of the automaker after recent rumors sale of public participation.
the CEO of Peugeot says that he “sees no sign, near or far, of an intention of the state to withdraw from PSA” in a interview published by the website ‘challenges.fr’. Rumors of a sale by the State of its 14% of the capital of PSA circulated in mid-February, when the group found benefits in 2015 for the first time since 2010.
“to have the State as shareholder is a competitive advantage”
the French state had reached the capital, beginning in 2014, to save PSA while on the verge of bankruptcy, together Chinese group and Dongfeng Peugeot family. The three shareholders hold in equal 14% stake, and a possible departure from the State could destabilize the balance, and to revive the debate on the anchor manufacturer in France …
Carlos Tavares thus shows very satisfied with the presence of the State shareholder. “in the chaotic world in which we live, have the French state as shareholder is a competitive advantage,” he says
he cites the PSA announced the return back to Iran, where the group signed in January industrial agreements to produce vehicles on the occasion of the visit of Iranian President Rohani in Paris. “Many of our business affect geopolitics. A good discussion with the state may have an interest,” the boss of PSA, which caps the Peugeot, Citroën and DS brands.
The judge leader further that “the state is a prudent shareholder. representatives of the EPA (Agency for State holdings) play a consistent role as a shareholder with the other,” he says. “There was no difference between them during the recovery period.” Carlos Tavares says even he met Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron “when there are sensitive issues,” what happens “once a year”. In any case, the state “is not on our backs,” he says, describing the Minister of Economy of “attentive interlocutor”.
700 million euros of gains on disposal
the rumors of an exit of the State had been carried by the sources cited by the agency ‘Bloomberg’, which stressed that the recovery of PSA accounts sharpened state appetites. The latter announced the end of 2015 its intention to sell a total of 5 billion euros of public ownership this year after 2.5 MdsE disposals in 2015. If the state now yielded its stake in PSA, it would realize a capital capital gain of around 700 million euros in the current price of around 14.5 euros per share.
Note however that this gain would have been much higher if the EPA had sold its stake last summer, before the outbreak of the scandal Volkswagen , which resulted in a fall of all automotive stock market. Before the crisis, the PSA was quoted as indeed between 18 and 19 euros …
When it entered the capital in 2014, the State had indicated that it could disengage when PSA would permanently rectified and that the group would enter a new phase of profitable growth. But PSA generated last year a net profit of 1.2 billion euros, its first profit since 2010, and reached a suitable margin of 5% in its automotive division. After the stage of recovery, Carlos Tavares intends to present next April 5th profitable organic growth plan for the coming years.