The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Banking

Breakingviews: If Alcan can, can others follow?

www.breakingviews.com

Just as Vodafone's takeover of Mannesmann was touted as opening Germany up to foreign capital, so last year's hostile takeover of Pechiney has been interpreted as changing the rules for foreigners doing business in France.

A hostile bid for France's leading aluminium producer, not to mention a transatlantic one, would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Yet Canada's Alcan was able to carry off Pechiney with scarcely a squeak from the offices of the French prime minister and president.

One reason is perhaps the attitude of French finance minister Francis Mer. He is more pro-enterprise than many of his predecessors and – in some instances – less willing to subjugate business interests to political ones. As one-time head of Usinor, France's largest steel company, Mer knows that companies in global industries such as aluminium will only survive if they consolidate.

Another is that France, under pressure from increasingly stringent European Union rules and a weak economy, is being forced to rethink its protectionist instincts. As it does so, that should attract foreign investors.

There are certainly opportunities for strategic takeovers in France, where several global industrial and services businesses are operating in a harsh environment.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree