Elf board rejects hostile bid

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The Independent Online
ELF AQUITAINE'S board has rejected a $51.4 billion hostile takeover offer from rival oil giant TotalFina, scuttling the possibility of an early end to France's biggest takeover battle. Elf's chairman Philippe Jaffre brushed aside an offer from Total to talk about a friendly combination of the country's two top oil companies. Instead he is planning meetings with US investors for next week to press Elf's own $53bn offer for Total.

Analysts said the rebuff was posturing that will only delay an amicable settlement from being made in the next few weeks.