France has 2 billion euros on hand to fund stake in Alstom: Montebourg

PARIS Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:51pm EDT

The logo of Alstom is seen on the entrance of Alstom plant in Aytre near La Rochelle, southwest France August 24, 2006. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

The logo of Alstom is seen on the entrance of Alstom plant in Aytre near La Rochelle, southwest France August 24, 2006.

Credit: Reuters/Regis Duvignau

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PARIS (Reuters) - The French state has enough cash available from previous share sales to fund the purchase of a 20 percent stake in Alstom (ALSO.PA), Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg said on Tuesday.

The French state secured an option to buy 20 percent of Alstom from its current top shareholder Bouygues (BOUY.PA) on Sunday, clearing the way for an agreed tie-up between Alstom and General Electric (GE.N).

"Following the sale of (shares in) Airbus (AIR.PA), Safran (SAF.PA) and Aeroports de Paris (ADP.PA), we now have over 2 billion euros that will be used to take that stake in Alstom," Montebourg told France's lower house during question time.

Shares in Safran, EDF (EDF.PA), Orange (ORAN.PA) and Airbus had on Monday been the worst performers on the Paris stock exchange, as traders feared the government would need to sell shares in those companies to fund the purchase.

(Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey; Writing by Natalie Huet, Editing by dominique Vidalon)

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