Shell fears raid by French oil giant Total

16th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Aug 15 (AFP) - The Anglo-Dutch oil company Royal Dutch Shell, one of the world's biggest, is bracing itself for a raid by France's Total, according to the British Sunday newspaper the Observer.

LONDON, Aug 15 (AFP) - The Anglo-Dutch oil company Royal Dutch Shell, one of the world's biggest, is bracing itself for a raid by France's Total, according to the British Sunday newspaper the Observer.

"Insiders ... fear Total will launch a raid," the newspaper said. "Total ... is considered the only predator capable of gaining regulatory approval for what would be a spectacular merger."

With a market capitalisation of GPB 68 billion (USD 125 billion), the Observer said, Total is smaller than Shell, worth GPB 94 million (USD 173 billion).

But Shell has been shaken by a scandal involving the overestimation of its reserves of oil and gas.

Shell and Total both refused to comment and the paper acknowledged that there was "no indication that board members or corporate advisers have spoken about a tie-up."

© AFP

Subject: French news

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