Pouyanné’s clarification on a departure for the New York Stock Exchange – L’Express

The CEO of TotalEnergies Patrick Pouyanné indicated this Thursday to confirm studying a stock listing “in New York, as in Paris”, without commenting on the possibility of a main listing in the United States which has been in the news for several weeks .

Asked by Le Figaro on the question of whether the group was “indeed studying a primary listing in New York”, the CEO mentioned “a translation error”: “A ‘primary listing’ in our mind is not a ‘quotation “main’ is the listing of the TotalEnergies share, in New York as in Paris”, defended Patrick Pouyanné.

READ ALSO: EXCLUSIVE. Emmanuel Macron: “Total has never had to complain about being French”

Implicitly, the group explains that it wants to access a listing format on the New York market which corresponds to classic shares instead of certificates of deposit which limit it in the number of transactions. “Today, we are already listed in the United States in the form of a Depositary Receipt (ADR), subject to the securities regulations of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission, the American market authority) as ‘foreign issuer’ (foreign issuer, Editor’s note)”, further explained the CEO of the CAC 40 group.

“In New York, this instrument (is) less liquid and less attractive than a real share […] What we are looking to do is just to be able to offer TotalEnergies shares on the European and American markets at the same time, to increase liquidity. On reflection, I would say that it is more a question of “cross listing” (transversal listing, Editor’s note)”, he explained. Patrick Pouyanné could present a study to his board of directors at the start of the school year.

Macron’s pressure move

By revealing to Bloomberg at the end of April that the group was studying a possible main listing in New York, Patrick Pouyanné, who will hold its general meeting on Friday, triggered the wrath of the political class. And first of all from Emmanuel Macron: in his major interview with L’Express, the Head of State himself put pressure on TotalEnergies on this possible decision to leave French soil. “France supports those who believe in France, not others. I think that Total has never had to complain about being French when it went to its export markets. TotalEnergies employees are attached to the France I am convinced that they will mark this attachment and clarify what is rumor, and nothing else,” Emmanuel Macron scathed, affirming that it was in “TotalEnergies’ interest to stay in France.” .

READ ALSO: Macron-Pouyanné standoff: what if TotalEnergies was right?

The CEO explained to Bloomberg then to the Senate that Americans buy more shares than Europeans. The boss points in particular to the change in France to the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) label, which now excludes companies exploiting coal or unconventional hydrocarbons, a measure decided by Bercy at the end of 2023. “What is the message that France has sent that day by arbitrating for the anti-fossil dogma? That TotalEnergies’ transition strategy was not relevant despite the 4 to 5 billion that we are investing in the energy transition, underlined the CEO to Le Figaro.

Nearly half of TotalEnergies’ shareholders are now made up of North American institutional shareholders (pension funds, asset managers, insurers, etc.). “How can we make TotalEnergies even more attractive in this American market which values ​​companies better than the European market? This is the question on which the board of directors legitimately wanted an analysis,” he said. “There is no question of leaving France. I never said that TotalEnergies would leave France, or even the Paris Stock Exchange,” insists Patrick Pouyanné, however.


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