PARIS (Reuters) - France’s state-run rail company SNCF is exploring selling down its stakes in two subsidiaries, hire car start-up Ouicar and car-sharing platform iDVroom, business newspaper Les Echos reported on Thursday.
Les Echos said SNCF had mandated investment bank Rothschild with testing the market and identifying potential investors.
A spokesman for SNCF said he could not immediately confirm the report and declined further comment.
Les Echos cited a source saying SNCF was prepared to cede control of the two subsidiaries but that there was no question of completely divesting from both.
SNCF paid 28 million euros ($32.8 million) for a 75 percent stake in Ouicar in 2015. Ouicar provides a platform for drivers to hire a car from private owners, rather than through hire car companies.
President Emmanuel Macron is locked in a battle with rail unions over his plans to create a leaner, more efficient SNCF that could better stand up to foreign competition once its monopoly ends.
Unions say the reform is a first step towards privatization. Macron’s government says it has no plans to open the rail company up to private capital.
Reporting by Elizabeth Pineay; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Dale Hudson