The government continues to believe in the IPOs of French start-ups

Happy are the start-ups that have managed to raise hundreds of millions of euros at the beginning of 2022 to finance their development. For at least six months, rounds of funding have been increasingly difficult to complete; and the amounts, less and less high. As for turning to the stock market, do not think about it for the moment, as technology stocks are jostled.

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That doesn’t stop thinking about it. This is the whole point of the reflection carried out by the government, which lifted the veil, Wednesday, November 23, on new measures intended to facilitate the IPOs of tricolor nuggets. He wants these to be made primarily within the Euronext Tech Leaders index, created this summer and devoted to innovative companies from the Old Continent. It was within the framework of an event organized by Euronext that Jean-Noël Barrot, Minister Delegate in charge of the digital transition, made his announcements.

“For five years, France has brought out very strong growth companies, of European, if not global, scope. We want them to be able to continue their growth in France, to continue to recruit there.”, pleads Mr. Barrot. For the most valued, only listing on the stock market will allow them to support their development. Indeed, the amounts involved become difficult to access by private funds.

Prioritize Europe for listing

The government has set a target of a dozen new IPOs by 2025 of French technology companies, including two with valuations above 5 billion euros. He intends to pave the way for them to favor Europe for their listing. “The IPO window has closed, which is why we are starting these projects today, so that the conditions are met when the momentum picks up”admits the Minister Delegate.

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Mr. Barrot has therefore announced several measures to facilitate this development, including financially. “Resources from the public sphere, more than 1 billion euros, can be mobilized to support IPOs”, he explains. Bpifrance and the Caisse des dépôts will be the armed arms of the State in this operation.

On the regulatory level, Bercy will launch a reflection on the possibility of issuing shares with multiple voting rights for these listed companies, a provision that allows the founders and shareholders to retain a minimum of control. Support systems are also planned with the support of the French Tech “mission”, including administrative assistance.

“Convince the big fund managers”

The government has also been associated with the drafting of a guide to good practices aimed at mobilizing the major players in the market – in particular institutions and other major managers – to support this European place. “We have to convince the big fund managers, make them evolve on their relationship to risk and growth”believes Stéphane Boujnah, the boss of Euronext.

He does not set a quantitative target for the number of companies to be listed on the Euronext Tech Leaders index. His goal: to erase “a truncated perception that there is no European Nasdaq”.

Over five years, the evolution of the valuations of companies listed today on the Euronext Tech Leaders index is very comparable, according to him, to that of these valuations of companies registered on the Nasdaq: + 86% for the first, + 95% for the seconds. “We must continue to stick as closely as possible to the Nasdaq, continue to convince investors”adds Mr. Boujnah, who intends to make the main European stock market a serious competitor to the famous American technology stock exchange.

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