France's cash-strapped government on Tuesday put its 3.1-percent stake in energy giant GDF Suez up for sale, in a bid to raise funds to buy a controlling stake in Alstom.
At the close, GDF Suez shares stood at 20.80 euros, valuing the sale at 1.56 billion euros.
The proceeds from the sale of 75 million shares to selected investors "can be used to finance the state's purchase of a stake in Alstom," France's economy and finance ministers said in a statement.
France on Sunday clinched a deal to take a 20-percent stake in Alstom, a move aimed at preserving the country's strategic interests in the face of a bidding war for the engineering giant.
But analysts have questioned the move as the French government has been struggling to slash a budget deficit.