Industry eyes movements of freed FDJ giant

Industry observers will be monitoring closely the first publication of Française des Jeux (FDJ) corporate results as a public enterprise, scheduled for release on Thursday 13 February 2020.

Closing 2019, the French government hailed the success of FDJ’s oversubscribed IPO on the Paris Euronext Exchange, as the French lottery operator doubled its corporate valuation to €3.8 billion.

Raising capital of circa €1.7 billion, European gambling welcomes a new giant freed from its state constraints, and which is further reported to be eyeing rapid international expansion.

Having closed its Paris IPO, FDJ governance swiftly sanctioned the buyout of French payment partner Bimedia last December, acquiring the firm’s retail ‘point-of-sale’ network which services 90% of France’s tobacconists and newsagents.

As FDJ governance moves to secure its peak capacity within France, City analysts await to see what is next for FDJ’s cash-rich agenda.

Last December, a growth-hungry FDJ governance was reported to have held discussions with UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) advisor Rothschild to assess the firm’s possible competition in the National Lottery 2020 tender.

Rothschild serves as one of four strategic advisors supporting the UKGC’s 2020 tender, in which international incumbents will battle to displace incumbent Camelot UK as lead operator of the National Lottery from 2023.

FDJ governance has yet to commit to competing in the tender, which so far has secured the interest of Sir Ricard Branson’s ‘Peoples Lottery’ vehicle, Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell publishing group and Czech gambling conglomerate SAZKA.

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