Rus News Journal

Purely French alliance

the Eurocommission has approved merge Gaz de France and Suez

Yesterday the Eurocommission has given green light to merge of French power companies Gaz de France (GDF) and Suez SA. This alliance in which result there will be a concern with a gain in 64 mlrd euro a year, has been initiated by the authorities of France in February, 2006 not to admit absorption GDF by the Italian group Enel. Meanwhile in France against this transaction trade unions sharply act. According to experts, alliance conditions can be reconsidered, if on presidential election the candidate from Segolene Royal`s socialists wins.

it is a good example true the European merge - has declared yesterday the commissioner of EU concerning a competition of Neli Krus. The Eurocommission considered the transaction five months and yesterday has approved it under condition of sale by the companies of a part of actives. The alliance of these companies was not pleasant British gazoraspredelitelnoj to company Centrica PLC which in May has submitted the petition to Eurocommission with the request to forbid the transaction from - that it limits a competition in the power market of Europe. Suez the largest Belgian electropower company Electrabel belongs, and GDF 25,5 % in company SPE NV, the second for number of clients of the operator of this market own. Suez also supervises 57 % gazoraspredelitelnoj companies Distrigaz and network Fluxys.

the Eurocommission has come to a conclusion that association of two companies will really strengthen domination Suez in the Belgian power market, and has obliged the companies to get rid of the Belgian actives. it is no wonder that the Eurocommission has approved the transaction, after all the European Union is interested in merge " first of all; - expert Argus Media Matthew Monteverde has noted in conversation with daily. As he said, occurrence of the new giant in the European power market will improve it and will make more competitive in relation to other markets. Gaz de France continues the expansion in Europe - has told daily a press - secretary GDF Sabine Vaskes. As general director GDF Jean - Francois Sirelli has declared last week, general meeting of shareholders on which the transaction should be approved, will take place in December that will allow to finish merge till the end of the year.

this transaction - display of a new tendency of power nationalism, in Russia the state refuses work on model of the agreement on production section, in Algeria the law on which at state companies should be at least 51 % in all oil and gas projects is passed, - has noted in conversation with daily the expert of consulting company Heren Report of Elizabeth Stonor. - France too does not lag behind - the authorities do not want to give actives Italian Enel . In Italy this transaction has been apprehended as display typically French protectionism . The former prime minister - the minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi and the present head of ministerial council Romano Prodi have condemned Jacque Chirac`s government for aspiration to protect the French companies from the Italian expansion.

however in the France the decision has caused far not unequivocal reaction. The day before the French parliament to make possible merge of the companies, has approved decrease in a share of the state in GDF with 74 to 34 %. We demand, that merge has been stopped and the alternative offers corresponding to national interests " have been brought; - it is told in message Confederation Generale du Travail, the largest trade union in GDF. Against privatisation GDF Segolene Royal, the probable candidate from socialist party on presidential election in May, 2007 has expressed also. in case of its rather probable victory GDF can be again nationalised - political scientist Pierre Noel from the French Institute of the international relations has told daily.

NIKOLAY MINASHIN,

ALINA LJUBIMSKY

Gaz de France - one of the largest operators in the gas market of Europe. Net profit Gaz de France in 2005 has grown on 29 %, to 1,74 mlrd euro, a gain - on 28 %, to 22,4 mlrd euro. The company operates a network of gas pipelines in the extent of 30 thousand in km. Suez specialises on rendering of utilities to the population, manufacture and electric power distribution. Besides, the company is engaged in transportation and sale as natural gas, and SPG. The company gain in 2005 has grown on 9 % and has made 41,5 mlrd euro.