Snecma’s largely French-speaking press office found itself increasingly unable to cope with enquires from the English-speaking media.
Smithfield managing director John Kiely and director Reg Hoare are working for Snecma in the book-building period until the climax of Snecma’s initial public offering on Euronext Paris this week.
The flotation is expected to raise between £2.7bn and £3.1bn.
The offering was expected to price yesterday (17 June), with trading taking place from midday today (18 June).
Smithfield was hired at the suggestion of Snecma’s retained financial PR agency Valefi.
‘We needed to manage contact with the UK press as our press office in France was too busy. We needed an agency that could handle UK journalists and understand the limits on our communication with the foreign media,’ said Snecma external communications director Olivier Lapy.
The French government’s sale of 35 per cent of Snecma is only taking place globally through an institutional offering, while the public offering is confined to French retail investors. The company and its advisory banks can only give limited information to foreign retail investors and media.
The government hopes to use the proceeds from the part-privatisation to help control France’s budget deficit.