GDF-Suez delay not bad news in Italy: Prodi

24th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

LUCCA, Italy, Nov 24, 2006 (AFP) - A delay in the merger of French energy groups Suez and GDF could prompt friendly talks between French and Italian companies, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said Friday in reference to interest expressed in Suez by Enel of Italy.

LUCCA, Italy, Nov 24, 2006 (AFP) - A delay in the merger of French energy groups Suez and GDF could prompt friendly talks between French and Italian companies, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said Friday in reference to interest expressed in Suez by Enel of Italy.

"The delay in the decision (on a merger of Suez and state-owned Gaz de France) will be very useful for the resumption in friendly talks between French and Italian companies," Prodi said following a summit meeting here with French President Jacques Chirac.

"It is more appropriate to take friendly decisions and to avoid hostile behavior," he added.

Chirac said after the summit: "I share the conviction of Prime Minister Prodi that we must support friendly alliances in Europe."

A proposed merger of Suez and GDF, unveiled last February, has been actively backed by the French government as a way of thwarting a feared hostile bid for Suez by Enel.

But the Suez-GDF deal hit a snag this week when a court ordered a delay in the procedure on grounds that workers at GDF had not been properly apprised of the consequences of the merger.

The transaction is now unlikely to be completed until some time early next year.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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