In last week’s issue of Le Canard Enchaîné (muckraking) there is an interesting update about Sarkozy’s plans to sell Areva, the gem of national radiation, to his best friend Martin Bouygues (for an earlier report see also “French Radiance Selling Itself”). The idea is to merge it with Alstom through a holding company in which Martin Bouygues would have a 35 percent stake. See more information in English here (from Thomson Financial News and Forbes). To make it simple, Areva and Alstom would be both valued at about 20 billion euros. That’s a bit on the low side, considering that it seems that the future of the world is going to be Areva’s. As usual, Le Canard provides some facetious remarks from some anonymous source. Here, a collaborator of Prime Minister François Fillon:
“Passing the core of France’s nuclear industry — which is going to benefit hugely from the raise of investment in the power sector — to the President’s best friend, Martin Bouygues, is insane. Let’s be sure that there will be a scandal. Probably with a Putin-Berlusconi sort of touch.” (“Sarko veut offrir le nucléaire français à son ami Bouygues”, Le Canard Enchaîné, May 14 2008)
Come on, don’t be that bitter and buy some stock. This is also the French way.