French gambling group plans to launch Initial Public Offering (IPO)

Unconfirmed reports that Groupe Lucien Barriere plans to launch an IPO late June

The French online and land gambling corporate Groupe Lucien Barriere plans to launch its initial public offering (IPO) at the end of June, reports the Reuters news agency, quoting unconfirmed reports on the usually reliable French website Wansquare.

The report named banks Lazard-Natixis, Societe Generale and BNP Paribas as companies working on the listing, claiming that the move could see French hotel and services group Accor selling part or all of its 49 percent stake in Barriere.

Accor chief executive Gilles Pelisson said in February this year that the group hoped to sell its stake in Lucien Barriere, possibly through an IPO, sometime in 2010. The strategy behind the sale is one designed to split Accor's hotel division, including luxury brand Sofitel and budget chain Ibis, from its other interests.

Reuters reports that Groupe Lucien Barriere is 51 percent owned by the Desseigne-Barriere family, which also owns over 70 percent of SFCMC (La Societe Fermiere du Casino Municipal de Cannes). The casinos division of the group includes online 3D operation Le Croupier.com and 40 land casinos across France and Europe, with a quarter of approved slot machines and half of all gaming tables in the French market.

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