GDF-Suez merger 'a strategic goal'

Chirac wants to push ahead despite doubts over the future of the tie-up.

    Pinault has until January 9 to present
    an offer for Suez [AP]
    Merger plan
    The government has repeatedly denied a French magazine report that Chirac had agreed to support an offer by Pinault, whose family controls the retail and luxury group Pinault Printemps-Redoute.
    France's Financial Markets Authority said its regulatory panel will meet on January 9 to set a deadline by which Pinault must either present an offer for Suez or refrain from bidding for a further six months, as required by French takeover law.
    Pinault's interest in Suez has cast further doubt on GDF's acquisition of the company, weeks after the French constitutional council effectively postponed the tie-up by seven months by ruling that the government could not reduce its stake in GDF to below 50 per cent before July 1.
    Under the merger plan, announced by the French government last February, GDF would acquire Suez in a one-for-one stock swap that currently values the utilities company at $60.4bn - including a $1.32 special cash dividend to Suez holders if the deal goes through.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Strong quotes for Martin Luther King Jr Day

    Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr that resonate today

    Quotes of justice, education, religion and race said by MLK Jr.

    Forced at 15: The young brides of Niger

    Forced at 15: The young brides of Niger

    How young girls in the West African country are fighting back against child marriage.