France Targets U.S. Investments

Terry Flanagan

France is making a major push to attract U.S. capital, in the form of both direct investments by U.S. companies and enabling U.S. investors to invest in French companies.

“We are endeavoring to facilitate investments via dual listings on the NYSE Euronext exchanges,” David Appia, France’s ambassador of international investment, told Markets Media. “Every year, more American companies are choosing to dual list.”

In March 2013, NYSE Euronext welcomed NYSE-listed global pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly And Company to its pan-European market via a listing in Paris.

Eli Lilly, a manufacturer of human pharmaceutical products and animal health products, employs more than 38,000 people worldwide and sells its products in approximately 130 countries.

“As a long term partner of the NYSE and listed issuer since 1970, Eli Lilly has continued to benefit from access to the deepest pool of capital through its US listing and has sought to leverage NYSE Euronext’s global platform and unique Fast Path process to list on the NYSE Euronext single-order book, pan-European market and concurrently delist from the London Stock Exchange,” said Albert Ganyushin, head of international listings for NYSE Euronext. “By using the streamlined Fast Path listing process Eli Lilly was able to use its SEC filings to cost-effectively list on the most liquid cash equities market in Europe.”

The new listing will help Eli Lilly enhance its global profile, offer the ability to trade and raise capital in € and $, develop Euro-denominated employee stock ownership plans and reach investors and stakeholders directly across continents and multiple time zones, regions and countries.

Eli Lilly’s successful cross-listing builds on significant European listings momentum in the Life Sciences sector following the New Year’s Day listing of global biopharmaceutical company AbbVie on the NYSE and subsequent cross-listing in Europe on NYSE Euronext Paris using the Fast Path process to reinforce its global identity.

Gemalto, a digital security company, listed on NYSE Euronext Amsterdam on April 3, 2013 while its shares continue to trade on NYSE Euronext Paris. With the new listing, the company hopes to attract additional liquidity and raise its visibility among international investors.

In January 2013, Abbott Laboratories a global manufacturer and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, spun-off its research-based pharmaceuticals business and listed the new company AbbVie, on NYSE Euronext U.S. and European markets.

In 2012, France was the second-largest recipient of job-creating investment from the United States, attracting 13% of American projects in Europe.

“The U.S. is the leading job-creating foreign investor in France, with 156 investment decisions in 2012,” said Appia.

France counties to provide strong support for innovation, in spite of current budgetary pressures, offering the best research tax credit in Europe, funding collaborative research in a nationwide network of “innovation clusters,” and supporting SMEs and new innovative companies through the creation of a new state investment bank, according to Fleur Pellerin, France’s minister for SMEs, innovation and the digital economy.

Two years ago, the government launched the National Investment Program, a €35 million public financing program for collaborative projects developed by universities and private research centers.

This month, the government launched “Innovation 2030″, a commission of 20 experts, including industrialists, scientists and economists to identify and propose to the government the sectors and technologies where France is likely to take leading roles by the year 2030, especially in domains “that can response to the call of future’s society, create the greatest value and more jobs on our territory,” according to a statement.

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