The French election may be more than a year away but companies and bankers are worrying about the rapidly closing window to do politically sensitive deals. Deals such as the partial sale of EDF’s electricity transport unit RTE or the privatisation of French airport in Lyon and Nice would all be hard to complete as the race begins in earnest after the summer, say bankers. “No government wants any fuss in the election period, especially with the unions, and so everything public is going to start grinding to a halt soon,” said one senior Paris banker about the politically tense environment. “It may already been too late for RTE,” he said. The offer is critical for EDF as it seeks to raise money to pay to built two nuclear reactors in Britain in a controversial £18bn project. It will also have to spend €55bn to upgrade its ageing French nuclear fleet as well as €5bn on the rollout of smart meters.
FT 27th March 2016 read more »