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Oct 28, 2011

Trilantic, Sagard vie for Sara Lee French unit-source

PARIS, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Sara Lee Corp’s auction
for its French baked goods unit has moved into the home stretch
with private equity firms Trilantic Capital Partners and Sagard
seen likely to post final offers, sources familiar with the
situation said on Friday.

Sara Lee is selling the unit, which various sources valued
at between 100 and 150 million euros ($212 million), as part of
a broader effort to divest its international bakery units. They
include its fresh bakery business in Spain and Portugal,
acquired by Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo earlier this month.

Oct 27, 2011

Areva 9-month revenues fall 3.5 pct

PARIS, Oct 27 (Reuters) – French nuclear group Areva
posted a 3.5 percent decline in nine-month sales on
Thursday, squeezed by weakness in its uranium mining and
waste-processing businesses.

Revenues reached 5.95 billion euros ($8.4 billion) and were
down 1.5 percent on a like-for-like basis, state-owned Areva
said in a statement.

Oct 25, 2011

Groupama fires CEO, says solvency priority

Oct 25 (Reuters) – French mutual insurer Groupama
[GRPMHA.UL] said on Tuesday its long-standing chief executive
had been fired and will be replaced by new management that
would seek to boost its financial strength.

The dismissal of Jean Azema, 58, who has run the closely
held insurer for more than 11 years, comes after two separate
rating agencies downgraded Groupama last month.

Oct 8, 2011

France, Belgium set to finalise Dexia break-up

BRUSSELS, Oct 9 (Reuters) – France and Belgium were set
finalise the break-up on Sunday of Dexia , the first
bank to fall victim to the euro zone sovereign debt crisis, with
global credit risk exposure of 512 billion euros ($691 billion).

Dexia, whose board was also due to meet on Sunday, was
forced to seek government help this week after a liquidity
crunch hobbled the lender and sent its shares into a tailspin.

Oct 8, 2011

France, Belgium intensify talks to save Dexia

PARIS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France and Belgium thrashed out plans on Saturday to break up stricken bank Dexia (DEXI.BR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and divide its “bad bank” assets to preserve the financing of hundreds of towns in both countries and avoid a deepening of the euro zone debt crisis.

Dexia, whose board is likely to meet on Sunday, was forced to seek government help earlier this week after a liquidity crunch hobbled the lender and sent its shares into a tailspin.

Oct 7, 2011

Dexia board set to meet as break-up looms

PARIS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France and Belgium are expected to finalize plans this weekend to break up Dexia (DEXI.BR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which helps finance hundreds of towns in both countries and became the first European bank to fall victim to the euro zone crisis.

Dexia, whose board is likely to meet on Sunday, was forced to seek government help earlier this week after a liquidity crunch hobbled the lender and sent its shares into a tailspin.

Sep 26, 2011

France seen moving towards bank bailout

PARIS (Reuters) – Investors and analysts who think a government bailout for the troubled French banking sector is increasingly likely are focusing on what form any aid could take, even as banks continue to deny they need state help.

The possibility of a bailout jumped from speculation to something much more concrete at the weekend after Bank of France Chairman Christian Noyer said in an interview that a support mechanism set up in 2008 could be used to shore up banks’ capital in case of an “extraordinary event.”

Sep 23, 2011

AXA exploring private equity unit sale: sources

PARIS (Reuters) – French insurer AXA (AXAF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is exploring a sale of its private equity unit and has hired Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to handle it, sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.

The possible sale comes as European insurers prepare to meet stiff new capital requirements under Solvency II industry regulations and after some of AXA’s key holdings have suffered in the recent market rout.

Sep 23, 2011

AXA private equity unit sale being explored-sources

PARIS, Sept 23 (Reuters) – French insurer AXA (AXAF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) is
exploring a possible sale of its private equity unit and has
hired Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) to handle it, sources familiar
with the situation said on Friday.

“It’s just gotten underway,” one of the sources said of the
auction, while another called the sale an option being explored
that would not definitively happen.

Aug 19, 2011

European bank stocks swoon to 29-month low

PARIS, Aug 19 (Reuters) – European banking shares swooned to
their lowest level in nearly 29 months on Friday, led by Italy’s
Intesa SanPaolo on concern about the lenders’ ability
to fund themselves amid a worsening economic slowdown.

Intesa tumbled 6 percent, while Raiffeisen Bank
dropped 5 percent and Societe Generale and UniCredit
— among top decliners in recent sessions — also
sank, down 3.3 percent and 4.2 percent respectively.

    • About Christian

      "New York-based editor in charge of banks, exchanges, insurers, asset managers and hedge funds coverage as well as separate team that reports on mergers and acquisitions. Previously led aerospace and defense team, also in New York. Was initially hired by Reuters in Milan, where I covered banks and insurers. Before that I was at Bloomberg for 8 years, including a 3 year stint in Sao Paulo."
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