PSA/Peugeot-Citroen has divested its stake in BNP Paribas SA for around EUR177 million ($229 million) in a bid to boost its finances as part of its restructuring move. PSA sold around 4 million shares in the French bank through an accelerated book building, with Societe Generale acting as the sole lead manager and book runner.
The French carmaker sold its BNP Paribas shares for a price of EUR44.24 per share. PSA has been disposing its assets to raise funds as the vehicle market in Europe continues to shrink for the sixth consecutive year in 2013. PSA’s disposals included the Citer vehicle-rental business and a majority of the Gefco logistics unit.
PSA also sold a EUR1 billion bond in February 2013. PSA posted EUR576 million in operating losses for 2012, deeply affected by the ongoing recession in Europe that forced people to take austerity measures. PSA chief executive Philippe Varin made a promise on Feb. 13, 2013 that he would have the French carmaker achieve breakeven by the end of 2014 through cost cuts as well as a new strategy that entails moving its Peugeot brand upscale.
In 2012, the French government offered guarantees as much as EUR7 billion of new bond sales by the Banque PSA Finance unit. PSA has gained a temporary approval from the European Union to sell EUR1.2 billion in government-backed bonds and is compelled to present more details of the bond sales plan to win full approval.