Euro plan for chemicals giant

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The Independent Online
SENIOR EXECUTIVES at Aventis, the new $20bn Euro company born out of the merger of the life sciences operations of chemicals giants Hoechst and Rhone Poulenc, said yesterday that they are lobbying to be allowed to create a European company which will avoid them having to upset one or other party to the merger by registering in Germany or France. The idea of a European company has been tabled repeatedly by Brussels but has always collapsed because of an inability to reconcile the British practice of shareholder-owned companies with the Germanic principle of worker representation on company boards.

Jurgen Dormann, the Hoechst chief executive who will run the new company from an as-yet unbuilt headquarters in Strasbourg, wants to see the new Euro company law on the statute books before Hoechst and Rhone-Poulenc move to a full merger in 2001.