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June 13, 2023

Tech IPO Revolution: Macron's Masterplan

Macron's Bold Quest to Reshape French IPOs & Ignite Europe's Innovation Drive

France, renowned for its dynamic tech industry, is embarking on a transformative quest to shake off its underdog image in the realm of venture-backed initial public offerings (IPOs). While the country's startup ecosystem has gained acclaim, it continues to trail behind the UK and Germany in terms of IPO triumphs. However, President Emmanuel Macron has set an audacious goal to rewrite this narrative, aiming for 10 tech IPOs by 2025, including two with valuations surpassing €5 billion. This ambitious plan not only holds the potential to elevate France's tech ecosystem but also promises far-reaching implications for the European startup landscape.

Over the past few years, France has faced significant challenges in the IPO market, hampering its progress. Between 2018 and 2022, a mere 67 French startups successfully went public, amassing a total valuation of $15 billion. In stark contrast, Germany saw 89 IPOs with a combined valuation of $151.9 billion, while the UK witnessed a staggering 234 startups going public, valued at $132 billion. This discrepancy underscores the need for France to catch up and assert itself as a formidable player in the tech IPO space.

President Macron's call for 10 French tech IPOs, including high-value offerings, has spurred the nation into action. Recognizing the importance of reforming the listing process and attracting more financial support for IPOs, France has taken the lead in driving these efforts. The impact of France's initiatives is not limited to its borders. Given that Euronext countries trade on a single exchange, France's progress is having a ripple effect, inspiring other European governments and financial institutions to join the IPO bandwagon.

To fulfill its IPO goals, France aims to create a favorable ecosystem that supports tech startups throughout their journey from IPO to post-IPO growth. This involves addressing weaknesses in the public market ecosystem and establishing partnerships with European allies. The Euronext Tech Leaders initiative, in collaboration with Bpifrance and other financial institutions, seeks to build a community among the more than 600 tech companies listed on Euronext exchanges across Europe. Furthermore, France is advocating for harmonized investment and public markets rules through the European Commission's Listing Act Consultation, unlocking cross-border investment and removing administrative barriers for big investors.

To bolster the financial side of the IPO process, France's public banks are actively encouraging the development of cornerstone and anchor investors. These investors validate IPO prices and ensure strong trading debuts, instilling confidence in the market and attracting more investors. Efforts by public banks like Caisse des Dépôts and Bpifrance, alongside initiatives such as the Axa Venture Partners' €1.5 billion fund, are aimed at providing support to startups ahead of IPOs and post-IPO, ultimately driving growth and expansion.

France's determination to revitalize its tech IPO landscape is poised to reshape the European startup ecosystem. President Macron's ambitious target of 10 tech IPOs, including high-value offerings, by 2025 is not only a call for France to assert its position but also sets the stage for increased collaboration and innovation across Europe. By creating a favorable IPO environment, nurturing investor communities, and harmonizing market rules, France is positioning itself as a compelling destination for tech listings. The success of this endeavor will not only benefit French startups but also amplify the growth potential of the entire European tech landscape, fostering a vibrant and competitive ecosystem in which startups can thrive.

Neil Hodgson Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Editorial chief at TechNews180
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