The saga of the rowdy renationalization of EDF continues Thursday before the Paris Court of Appeal which examines the appeal of small shareholders contesting the conformity of the takeover bid launched by the State, after months of battle to derail an operation deemed unfair.
These rebellious small shareholders are contesting the compliance decision issued by the Financial Markets Authority (AMF) in November, which gave the green light to the State to launch this takeover bid.
The complete takeover, announced last July and costing 9.7 billion euros, is strategic for the state shareholder, which already held 84% of its national flagship before the takeover.
Its goal: to free EDF from the stock market to allow the executive to more easily relaunch nuclear power in France, a sensitive project which provides for the construction of 6 to 14 new reactors in the coming decades.
Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne announced this process in her general policy speech in July, and the government wanted to complete everything by the end of October.
But small shareholders have multiplied the legal fronts to curb the operation.
At the heart of the legal and stock market soap opera, there is the price of 12 euros per share at which the State has decided to buy back from the shareholders the shares it lacks to fully control the electrician.
A price deemed too low: the applicants claim a minimum of 15 euros.
At the opening of the capital in 2005, the action was sold for 32 euros, with a 20% discount for employees at 25.60 euros.
A certain number of shareholders accepted the price proposed by the State, and on February 8, the latter held "
at the provisional closing of the offer
" 95.82% of the capital and 96.53% of the voting rights. , Bercy hailing a “
” even if he undertook not to complete the operation before the end of justice.
Everything is now in the hands of the Court of Appeal, which must decide no later than May 2, with this hearing scheduled for Thursday.
EDF's employee and retired shareholders will be represented by their leader, Martine Faure, president of the group's employee shareholding fund, for this appeal, which also involves the association Énergie en actions and ADAM, a defense association. minority shareholders.
We are dealing with a powerful adversary, having the State against you is not easy
", summarizes on the eve of the meeting Colette Neuville, the president of ADAM, who has been fighting for 30 years for the rights of minority shareholders.
To attack compliance, you have to prove that the regulations have not been followed in all respects
For example, "
not having produced all the documents listed by the regulations or (...) not having sufficiently motivated the compliance decision
, ”explains the lawyer, who has planned to plead.
If the court ruling confirms the conformity of the takeover bid, the State will be able to renationalise EDF by forcing the remaining minority shareholders to sell their shares, at a price of 12 euros.