Christian's Feed
Jul 5, 2011

French banks warn capital rules could hit growth

PARIS, July 5 (Reuters) – The heads of France’s two biggest
banks told regulators on Tuesday that tougher capital rules
could slam the brakes on growth in a region that still depends
on banks to provide most of its credit.

Global banking regulators decided last month to slap an
extra capital charge on the world’s biggest banks to make them
safer, a move that could hit BNP Paribas and Societe
Generale if they are deemed to be “systemically
important.”

Jun 20, 2011

Saint-Gobain pulls Verallia IPO, citing market

PARIS/LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) – French construction
materials maker Saint-Gobain (SGOB.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Monday postponed
indefinitely the initial public offering of its glass container
unit Verallia after weak investor demand.

Saint-Gobain, which had hoped to raise up to 958 million
euros ($1.36 billion) from the spinoff, cited an “underlying
level of market uncertainty and volatility” in the offering’s
failure.

Jun 16, 2011

French ousts Areva CEO after blunders, EDF spat

PARIS, June 16 (Reuters) – The French government on
Thursday said it planned to replace Anne Lauvergeon as chief
executive of nuclear group Areva (AREVA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), putting an end to
weeks of speculation and controversy about the state-owned
company’s management.

Lauvergeon, one of France’s best known executives, will be
replaced by Luc Oursel, who headed Areva’s nuclear reactor
business before joining Lauvergeon’s executive board as chief
operating officer in charge of international, marketing and
projects.

Jun 8, 2011

Citigroup sells private equity assets to Axa unit

PARIS (Reuters) – Citigroup (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has agreed to sell a portfolio of private equity assets to Axa (AXAF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Private Equity for $1.7 billion, the French insurer said on Wednesday, the latest move by the U.S. bank to unload non-core assets.

For Axa Private Equity, the deal is part of a series of acquisitions of private equity investments originally owned by other investors, including the purchase of a $1.9 billion portfolio from Bank of America (BAC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in April 2010.

Jun 8, 2011

Hermes soaring valuation sparks new LVMH talk

PARIS (Reuters) – Hermes has long been famous for persuading shoppers to fork out over $5,000 (3,000 pounds) for hand crafted fashion icons like its Birkin bag. Now it’s the price tag on its shares that is raising eyebrows.

Hermes (HRMS.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) stock hit a new seven-month high this week — the highest level since it spiked above 200 euros a share after French billionaire Bernard Arnault shocked the luxury world by scooping up 20 percent of its stock.

Jun 7, 2011

DealTalk: Hermes soaring valuation sparks new LVMH talk

PARIS (Reuters) – Hermes (HRMS.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has long been famous for persuading shoppers to fork out over $5,000 for hand crafted fashion icons like its Birkin bag. Now it’s the price tag on its shares that is raising eyebrows.

Hermes stock hit a new seven-month high this week — the highest level since it spiked above 200 euros a share after French billionaire Bernard Arnault shocked the luxury world by scooping up 20 percent of its stock.

May 31, 2011

CD&R-led group to buy France’s Spie for 2.1 bln euros

PARIS/LONDON, May 31 (Reuters) – A group led by Clayton
Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) agreed to buy French engineering group
Spie in a deal valuing it at 2.1 billion euros ($3 billion), in
the biggest French leveraged buyout since the 2008 financial
crisis.

French private equity group PAI Partners, which said in
March it was considering a possible sale of the electrical and
mechanical engineering firm, confirmed a deal to sell it to a
group also including a unit of French insurer AXA (AXAF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
and Canada’s Caisse des Depots du Quebec.

May 30, 2011

LVMH denies attempts to destabilize Hermes

PARIS (Reuters) – LVMH (LVMH.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s biggest luxury group, said it wished to remain a long-term shareholder of Hermes (HRMS.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and rejected allegations it was trying to destabilize its smaller luxury rival.

LVMH was replying to comments made by Hermes Chairman Bernard Puech who called on LVMH to halve its 20 percent Hermes stake and said Hermes had been the target of “incessant attacks” in an interview published in Le Figaro on Monday.

May 30, 2011

Hermes wants LVMH to halve its stake: report

PARIS (Reuters) – The chairman of French luxury group Hermes (HRMS.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) wants bigger rival LVMH (LVMH.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the champagne-to-leather goods group controlled by Bernard Arnault, to halve its 21 percent stake, Le Figaro newspaper reported.

“What bothers us is the way they did it,” Bernard Puech said in an interview, referring to LVMH’s move last year to build up its stake. “So we ask them to sell half of their stake to re-establish our stock market float.”

May 30, 2011

Hermes wants LVMH to halve its stake – paper

PARIS, May 30 (Reuters) – The chairman of French luxury
group Hermes (HRMS.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) wants bigger rival LVMH (LVMH.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the
champagne-to-leather goods group controlled by Bernard Arnault,
to halve its 21 percent stake, Le Figaro newspaper reported.

“What bothers us is the way they did it,” Bernard Puech said
in an interview, referring to LVMH’s move last year to build up
its stake. “So we ask them to sell half of their stake to
re-establish our stock market float.”

    • 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."
    • Follow Christian