1987: privatisation of Societe Generale
On 27 June 1987, 100% of the Group's capital was floated on the stock market, thus allowing the general public to subscribe and become shareholders. It was a milestone in the Group's privatisation.
In June 1987, 20 million Societe Generale shares were floated on the stock market within the framework of a public offering on the one hand and a capital increase on the other.
This operation, initiated by the French government in February 1987, was a decisive step in the privatisation process of a banking sector that had been partly nationalised in 1945 to help boost the French economy within the context of post-war Reconstruction.
This decision was made within a rather gloomy economic context marked by substantial stock market falls, but the operation was nevertheless a major success: demand for shares was more than five times greater than the number of shares on offer. This high level of demand was due to three key factors: the share price, set at 407 francs, the excellent relations Societe Generale enjoyed with its customers and the Bank's healthy financial situation.
Societe Generale's privatisation was completed on 29 July 1987 and the first Shareholders' Meeting was held on 29 October. At the end of that year, the Group's employees held a 6% stake in their company, whilst a group of 19 stable shareholders (including 8 private or nationalised insurers) held a further 30%.