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Nexans rises on debut
June 13, 2001: 6:19 a.m. ET

French telecoms equipment maker Alcatel sees cable unit make solid debut
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LONDON (CNN) - Shares in Nexans, the world's No. 3 cable maker, rose as much as 2 percent on their Paris Bourse debut on Wednesday.

Shares in the company, spun off by French telecoms equipment maker Alcatel (PCGE), were priced at graphic27 ($22.70) for the initial public offering. They rose to graphic27.50 in early trade before edging back to graphic27.22.

Alcatel, which last month called off talks with U.S. equipment maker Lucent Technologies (LU: Research, Estimates) on a $23.5 billion merger, had planned the share sale for the past year.

In a rare French IPO in 2001, the shares were more than 6.5 times oversubscribed and showed investors in France still have an appetite for front-rank shares.

Nexans, which comes behind Italy's Pirelli and Japan's Sumitomo in the cables league table, was valued on its debut at graphic675 million.

Alcatel offered up to 80.5 percent of the company. It was the biggest flotation on the Paris Bourse since the disappointing debut of France Telecom's Orange (PORA) in February.

Alcatel is keeping 19.5 percent of the shares. "We are delighted by the success of the offering and the strong vote of confidence we have received from the investor community," Nexans Chairman Gerard Hauser told Reuters.

Alcatel (ALA: Research, Estimates), which last October issued tracking shares for its optronics unit, said it will raise approximately graphic450 million net of fees and expenses from Nexans, before any exercise of an option to sell extra shares if the demand is there. graphic