Bull shares crash as EU delays aid decision

28th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 28 (AFP) - Shares in the French information technology group Bull crashed Thursday after the European Commission said a decision on state aid was not on its agenda this month.

PARIS, Oct 28 (AFP) - Shares in the French information technology group Bull crashed Thursday after the European Commission said a decision on state aid was not on its agenda this month.

Bull shares fell by 4.76 percent to EUR 0.40 in afternoon trade on the Paris stock exchange, while the CAC index of leading stocks was up by 0.78 percent overall.

The commission said a decision on whether to allow the French government to grant Bull a EUR 517 million (USD 657 million) capital injection was not on its agenda for this month despite earlier comments that it would be.

In August, competition spokesman for the commission, Tilman Lueder, said there were no "major complaints" raised against the Bull case and that a decision would be announced before the end of October.

His successor Amelia Torres said Thursday that the decision on the Bull case has not been on the agenda for the last few weeks and that when the last state aid decisions of the month were taken, this case was not on the list.

On Wednesday, commission sources told AFP's financial news subsidiary AFX News that the case would not be decided by the end of October as there is some disagreement among officials about the timing of the aid.

The commission restricts the number of aid packages that a company can receive over time to avoid too many competition distortions.

Bull was granted aid in 1994 to carry out restructuring. The aid was approved according to the one-time-last-time principle, meaning the company may not receive further restructuring aid for a period of ten years.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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