France announces new powers to block foreign bidders in battle for Alstom
Thursday 15 May 2014
France has approved a new decree giving the government new powers to block foreign bidders to thwart US giant General Electric’s $16.9 billion (£10 billion) bid for French engineering group Alstom.
The state’s official ability to stop acquisitions will now extend to foreign attempts to buy assets in “strategic” energy, water, transport, telecoms and health sectors — and give the final say to the economy minister, currently socialist Arnaud Montebourg.
He has been outspoken about foreign businesses, in 2012 calling on steel giant ArcelorMittal to be kicked out of the country as “they don’t respect France”.
Officials reportedly described the beefed-up powers as a “nuclear weapon”. It contrasts with the lack of legal levers for the UK Government to pull as Pfizer pursues a £63 billion bid for AstraZeneca.
“With this reform, France will have a clear and efficient legal framework comparable with that in a number of other open economies within and outside Europe,” said Montebourg, who has repeatedly insisted any outcome for the Alstom industrial conglomerate must be in the national interest.
He has openly criticised the Alstom-GE deal and instead advocated a European tie-up with Germany’s Siemens.
The move came as official figures showed growth in France slowing to a standstill in the first three months of the year.
- 1 Stolen Instagram photo sells for $90,000
- 2 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 4 'Don't blame all men for rape' campaign backfires spectacularly
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
UK's biggest male rape charity Survivors UK has state funding slashed to zero despite 120% rise in men reporting sexual violence and seeking help
Priest warns pupils the 'Charlie Charlie Challenge' is 'demonic activity'
'Don't blame all men for rape' campaign backfires spectacularly
Iran launches anti-Isis cartoon competition 'to expose true nature of Islamic State'
Fifa corruption arrests: Sepp Blatter 'quite relaxed' and confident he is 'not involved'
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
iJobs Money & Business
£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...
£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...