LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (MC) and Schneider Electric SA are among companies making $135 billion of takeovers since the start of last year, exceeding most nations in western Europe aside from the U.K., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. An Anachronism The measures were clearly thought up by people living in the last century, said Jean-Pierre Martel, a founding partner at Orrick Rambaud Martel, who advised on French drugmaker Sanofis takeover of Aventis in 2004. Its implicitly aimed at foreigners and meant to defend French interests. Its ridiculous. The biggest French companies have significant foreign investors and are very international. Seen from abroad, this will scare everyone. The debate over protecting French interests has been a political hot potato since Canadian aluminum maker Alcan Inc. bought French rival Pechiney SA a decade ago, eventually breaking it up and shutting plants. More recently, ArcelorMittal, the worlds largest steelmaker, decided to shutter a plant in France in the north-eastern city of Florange. The plant was the site where French President Francois Hollande pledged a few months before being elected in May 2012 to pass a law forcing large firms to sell rather than close sites to cap unemployment, which now stands at a 14-year high. Socialist Credentials The Socialist president, whose popularity is at a record low, is trying to make good on that campaign promise after being accused by some unions of caving in to ArcelorMittal when he ruled against a proposal by Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg to temporarily nationalize the Florange plant last December. The event is a central episode in the ministers just-released book La bataille du made in France, on defending the countrys industry in the face of large corporations with questionable behavior. With the bill, Hollande is seeking to re-burnish his credentials with his base. To its opponents, the bill asks potential buyers to stay out.
France to help Pakistan ease energy crisis: Ambassador
On Tuesday he told his French counterpart Francois Hollande that reconciliation was his priority, after talks with the rebel National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) collapsed. “The Franco-African intervention put an end to the terrorist threat, but it could try to rebuild… we must remain vigilant,” the two leaders said in a joint statement released by Hollande’s office after the talks. The meeting between the two leaders came against a backdrop of deteriorating security in Mali, where a car bomb attack claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) killed two civilians and wounded several soldiers on Saturday, according to the army. Calm returned Tuesday to the rebel bastion of Kidal after fighting between the MNLA and the army, but tensions remained high, a military source from the UN’s MINUSMA peacekeeping force in Mali told AFP. The MNLA, the main Tuareg group involved in peace talks between rebels and the government which broke down on Thursday, said three of its fighters had been wounded during a gun battle Sunday which lasted more than an hour. The clashes in Kidal came after Tuareg rebels pulled out of the talks, dealing a blow to hopes of a durable peace in the troubled west African nation. The MNLA took control of Kidal in February after a French-led military operation ousted Al-Qaeda-linked fighters who had piggybacked on a Tuareg rebellion to seize most of northern Mali. The Malian authorities reclaimed the city after signing a ceasefire deal with the MNLA but the situation has remained tense. While the MNLA remains a largely secular cause, Mali has suffered a series of attacks claimed by Islamist insurgents since France launched a military operation in January against Al-Qaeda-linked groups occupying the north of the country. Four suicide bombers blew up their car at a military barracks in the desert city of Timbuktu on Saturday, killing two civilians in an attack claimed by AQIM. A spokesman for the north African group raised “two of our brave suicide bombers”, whom he said had detonated “more than a ton of explosives”, according to the Mauritanian Alakhbar news agency. The spokesman said the explosion killed 16 soldiers and wounded many more, contradicting the army’s statement that four suicide bombers were in the car when it exploded and two passers-by were the only people killed. Dozens of disgruntled soldiers involved in Mali’s 2012 coup fired guns in the air at a protest on Monday, wounding and taking hostage a close aide of mutiny leader Amadou Sanogo, military sources said.
France selling ships _ and maybe arms _ to Mozambique in unusual deal
Talking to media persons after inaugurating a roadshow titled, ‘World of Energy Efficiency for a better Pakistan,” here by Schneider Electric, a company which offers solutions for energy management, the ambassador said France was collaborating with other partners including Asian Development Bank etc on different components of energy-related projects and one of these schemes which cost $600 million would help Pakistan save 1000 WM. Replying to a question, he said France had international commitments and would abide by them with regard to the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project. The ambassador said Pakistan was a sovereign state and took decisions on their own for meeting its energy needs. As far as French government was concerned, he added, it would go by the international commitments, adding Pakistan had not requested for cooperation with regard to the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project. He said France was focussing on small projects including “Munda Dam” and other hydropower projects to efficiently ease energy crisis in Pakistan. Earlier inaugurating the show, he lauded the management of Schneider Electric for bringing their whole product profile under one roof. He said that such roadshows will definitely leave an impact on energy efficient measures in future. He said the roadshow was being held under the umbrella campaign Experience Efficiency to showcase the complete energy solution portfolio of Schneider Electric under one roof. He said the event would act as a platform to educate the national stakeholders about energy solutions and seek to address energy challenges by offering solutions that add value to one’s business in the long run while aimed at all relevant audience of Schneider Electric – end users, government entities and the partners, the event will also touch upon key innovative and industry leading breakthroughs Schneider Electric have achieved globally including Ecostruxure, Struxureware and Smartstruxure. The event is being leveraged as a platform to showcase Schneider Electric’s portfolio of integrated solutions that facilitate intelligent energy management for its customers. Benoit Dubarle, Country President – UAE, Oman & Pakistan, Schneider Electric Gulf said “Our roadshow offers a unique platform to identify new opportunities and a chance to meet with influential thought leaders and decision makers in the sectors we focus on – energy, IT, finance, government, hotels, healthcare and manufacturing. The event highlights the growing role of Pakistan in the Schneider Electric world and our effort to bring the best technologies and expertise in the energy management space to our customers in Pakistan. The event aims to deliver high quality networking and business development opportunities. It is also be the right occasion for the attendees to meet with experts and specialists from Schneider Electric.” Elaborating further, Mohkam Sheikh, Vice President, Power Business Unit, Schneider Electric said that” One of the major focus of the event is our Ecostruxure booth, an integrated solution from Schneider Electric which can reduce the energy consumption by 30 percent of a particular building or manufacturing facility. At the roadshow, Schneider Electric is exhibiting its industry-first solutions in the Energy Management space.
France, Mali urge vigilance against ‘terror’ threat
There will also be a need to make sure that they are protected. He would not give details, but said the money for the ship deal came from a loan from another country, but I cant say which one. Hollandes office said the contract with CMN is just part of a larger global deal with the holding company Privinvest, owned by Lebanese magnate Iskandar Safa. Hollandes office wouldnt comment on the possible weapons negotiations because the deal is not public. Safa, who played a prominent role in Mondays events in Cherbourg, declined to give details on the agreements involved. Safa, who helped negotiate the release of French hostages in Lebanon in 1988, faced a French arrest warrant for several years in the 2000s because of suspicions around his financial transactions with senior French officials. The case against him was dropped in 2009 by the French prosecutors for lack of evidence. Meanwhile, Mozambicans are asking how all these purchases are being financed. Mozambique is ranked 185 out of 187 on the U.N.s human development index. But it has been enjoying strong economic growth, boosted by the discovery of large reserves of offshore natural gas. Fatima Mimbire, who works with anti-corruption group Transparency International in Mozambique, said the government has released contradictory information on the value of the ship deal ranging from 200 million euros to $500 million and about which company is behind it. If members of the government arent talking the same language, something is wrong, she said. I understand that we need to expand our exports to bring more money to the country. …