Government approves bill on GDF-Suez alliance

28th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 28, 2006 (AFP) - The French government approved on Wednesday a bill to go before parliament allowing private energy and utilities group Suez to absorb state-controlled Gaz de France (GDF).

PARIS, June 28, 2006 (AFP) - The French government approved on Wednesday a bill to go before parliament allowing private energy and utilities group Suez to absorb state-controlled Gaz de France (GDF).

The plan, which has run into opposition from members of parliament who back the government, would create a world giant worth about 62.0 billion EUR (78.0 billion dollars).

An official report of the cabinet meeting quoted Economy Minister Thierry Breton as saying when he presented the bill: "The project for the merger of the two companies permits the emergence of a player of world scale, particularly in the sector of natural gas."

President Jacques Chirac "stressed the importance of this project of national interest, both to strengthen our country's energy independence and to prepare our country for the post-oil era," government spokesman Jean-François Cope said.

The main purpose of the bill is to permit a halving of the state's interest in GDF so that the group can be absorbed by Suez.

Suez is capitalised at about 37.6 billion EUR and has 161,000 employees and Gaz de France is worth about 25.0 billion EUR and employs 53,000 people.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French News

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