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Paris Fences Off Strategic Industries

France's center-right government said on Aug. 31 that it will block foreign acquisitions of French companies in 10 "strategic" industries, including defense, military-related technologies, biotechnology, information security, and the casino business. But the government declined to extend such protection to major French companies, such as food producer Groupe Danone () and metals company Eramet, that have been mentioned recently as possible takeover targets. Although many French politicians wanted to offer protection to a wider range of industries, European Union regulators probably would have overruled such a move. Nevertheless, the anti-takeover provisions would apply to such well-known companies as telecom group Alcatel () and hotel operator Accor, because of its ownership of casinos.

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