Vinci Shares Hit Record High After French Billionaire Buys Stake

Shares in Vinci soared to a record high Friday after a holding controlled by French billionaire Francois Pinault said he had acquired a 5.1% stake in the world's largest construction company.

Vinci shares hit a high of 104.90 euros ($135.55) in early trading Friday. By mid-morning they were at 103.60 euros ($133.87), up 5% from Thursday's close.

Pinault's holding Artemis bought 11.946 million Vinci shares over the last few months for a total amount of 1.1 billion euros ($1.42 billion), a spokeswoman for Artemis said. Artemis now owns 5.23% of voting rights and has become Vinci's largest shareholder after the employees, she added.

Analysts suggested that Pinault may seek to further raise his stake in Vinci. The company's revenue for last year is expected to total 25.3 billion euros ($32.69 billion).