Commentary: France Fudges On Aerospatiale

On July 22, the French government made what sounded like a bold pronouncement. It said it would privatize $9.4 billion defense giant Aerospatiale by reducing the state's stake to less than 50%. But don't be fooled. French-style privatization is not what the rest of the world understands by the word. Like other sell-offs of state-owned companies before it, the Aerospatiale deal is a halfway measure. That's because the government will remain the largest shareholder, with a 46% to 48% stake, and have veto power over strategic decisions.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.