The Italian and French governments hold, through state-controlled agencies, 27.6% of ST. France and Italy have equal shares so they each have 13.8%.
It is unclear whether Italy is keeping a 0.8% stake or not, or whether this 0.8% could contain a ‘golden share’ giving it voting control over half the company.
At a Cabinet meeting on January 24th, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said the proceeds from the sale and the sale of other state-owned assets would help reduce Italy’s $2 trillion public debt.
The sale of a 13% stake in ST at its current market cap of $7.68 billion would raise about $1 billion.
ST has lost $1.67 billion since Q4 2011 but CEO Carlo Bozotti says it will be profitable this year.
In 2009, the French upped their share of ST. Now there is an opportunity for the French to take control.