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PARIS, Dec 2 (Reuters) - French drugmaker Sanofi (SASY.PA) said on Friday that if it decides to bid for biotech company Horizon Therapeutics Plc (HZNP.O), it would do so in cash. Horizon Therapeutics Plc, which has a market capitalization of about $18 billion, is in talks with Amgen Inc (AMGN.O), Sanofi (SASY.PA) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) unit Janssen Global Services over potential takeover offers. "Any offer for Horizon Therapeutics Plc (HZNP.O), if made, would be in cash, as required by Rule 2.12 of the Takeover Rules," Sanofi said in a statement. "There is no certainty that any offer will be made, nor as to terms on which any such offer may be made, if forthcoming," it added. Horizon, which makes drugs for rare, autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases, has said there is no certainty that it will receive a takeover offer.
PARIS, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Renault's (RENA.PA) chairman on Tuesday told Reuters on Tuesday he was "confident" the French carmaker will reach an agreement with its Japanese partner Nissan (7201.T) on the future of their alliance. Ongoing talks between Renault and Nissan about their alliance could prompt the biggest reset in the tie-up since the 2018 arrest of longtime executive Carlos Ghosn, but it still has to be confirmed how they play out. Asked by Reuters whether any announcement on the matter will be made by mid-December, as suggested by some sources, Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard declined to comment. Reporting by Gilles Guillaume, writing by Tassilo Hummel, editing by Dominique VidalonOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
France's Le Maire: We went too far in use of consulting firms
  + stars: | 2022-11-27 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
PARIS, Nov 27 (Reuters) - The French government made excessive use of consultancy firms in the past and is now striving to correct that, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday. For years, this government and previous governments relied too much on consultancy firms. This was corrected by the Prime Minister's instruction that all ministries cut by 15% the use of consultancy firms," Le Maire told France 3 television. Between the first half of 2021 and the first half of 2022, the Finance Ministry had for instance managed to cut by 34% its use of consultancy firms, he added. A report by the French Senate in March 2022 had notably pointed out that the government was "dependent" on consulting firms such as McKinsey.
PARIS, Nov 27 (Reuters) - France may try to negotiate some exemptions from the duties and limits imposed by the U.S. anti-inflation act but Europe must act to protect the bloc's economic interests, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday. Le Maire will accompany French President Emmanuel Macron on a state visit to the United States next week. "France may ask for exemptions on some duties and limits imposed by the U.S administration. Le Maire told France 3 television. "China favours Chinese production, America favours American production, it is time Europe favours European production...All European states must understand that today in the face of these American decisions, we must learn to better protect and defend our economic interests," he added.
France's Macron says Qatar must move towards "tangible changes"
  + stars: | 2022-11-26 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
PARIS, Nov 26 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday urged Qatar to continue in the direction of "tangible changes" that he said are signposted by Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup. "This football World Cup, the first organised in an Arab country, is a sign of tangible changes underway. It must continue, and it can count on our support," Macron said on Twitter during the France-Denmark game. France became the first team to book a spot in the World Cup knockout stage on Saturday when it defeated Denmark 2-1 in a tense encounter. Earlier this month, Macron had said sports should not be politicised, brushing off suggestions that he should boycott the World Cup in Qatar.
PARIS, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Shares in Remy Cointreau (RCOP.PA) fell as much as 4% on Thursday after the French spirits maker said it was "cautiously optimistic" about the Chinese market where COVID-19 continues to trigger lockdowns. CEO Eric Vallat said he was "cautiously optimistic" about business prospects in China ahead of the Chinese New Year as on-again, off-again lockdowns clouded the outlook. "In China, we are making sure we are flexible, so far we have adapted successfully to the situation," he said. Remy Cointreau shares were down 1.4% at 1058 GMT having fallen as much as 4%. The company has seen two years of exceptional growth as the pandemic accelerated a shift towards premium drinks, cocktails and e-commerce as people drank more expensive drinks at home.
PARIS, Nov 24 (Reuters) - France's Remy Cointreau (RCOP.PA) reported a stronger-than-expected 27% jump in first-half operating profit and kept its guidance for a slower second half, saying consumption trends were returning to more normal levels. Chief Executive Eric Vallat also said he was "cautiously optimistic" about business in China, a key market, in the short-term although visibility was low due to on-and-off lockdowns. Remy Cointreau shares fell 2.9% in morning trade. Vallat added he was confident in China in the longer-term due to strong appetite there for its premium cognacs. Operating profit at its cognac division, which accounts for nearly 90% of group profit, surged 36% to 299.7 million euros in the first half.
PARIS, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Remy Cointreau (RCOP.PA) reported a stronger-than-expected 27.2% organic jump in first-half operating profit, driven by strong demand for its premium cognac in China and the United States and cost controls. As Remy Cointreau continues to invest in marketing and communications particularly in the second half of the year, current operating profit margin will be driven by gross margin resilience despite an inflationary environment and tight control of cost overheads, the statement said. Group current operating profit for the six months to Sept. 30 reached 319.3 million euros ($333.1 million), marking an organic rise of 27.2%. That outperformed a company-compiled consensus of 22 analysts that forecast current operating profit of 306 million euros, up 23.8% like-for-like. Operating profit at the Remy Martin cognac division, which makes nearly 90% of group profit, totalled 299.7 million euros in the first half, marking an organic rise of 35.7%.
Gucci's creative director Michele is exiting the brand - WWD
  + stars: | 2022-11-23 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
PARIS, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Creative director Alessandro Michele is leaving Italian fashion house Gucci, the biggest brand of French luxury group Kering (PRTP.PA), Women's Wear Daily (WWD) reported late on Tuesday. Well-placed sources here say that creative director Alessandro Michele is exiting the brand," WWD said in a report from MilanA statement was expected as early as Wednesday, it added. Both Kering and Gucci declined to comment the WWD report. Gucci has been successfully revamped with a bold new style since Michele took over the top creative role at Gucci in January 2015. Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, Silvia Aloisi and Piotr Lipinski; Editing by Benoit Van OverstraetenOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
PARIS, Nov 22 (Reuters) - French spirits group Pernod Ricard (PERP.PA) is confident that its business in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America (EMEA/LATAM) will continue to deliver above market sales growth while protecting its margins in the 2023 fiscal year, EMEA-LATAM CEO Gilles Bogaert said on Tuesday. Bogaert was speaking in a video clip ahead of an investor presentation later in the day. A key focus for the region, which accounts for about 30% of group sales, entailed growing revenue to protect margins, continuing to increase prices, "agile" resource allocation and further digital transformation, he said. Last month, Pernod Ricard, the world's second-biggest spirits group behind Diageo (DGE.L), said it was confident group sales growth would remain dynamic through the fiscal year to June 30 after it delivered forecast-beating sales in the first quarter helped by price increases as consumers trade up to its premium spirits. Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Kirsten DonovanOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
[1/4] A migrant, in need of urgent hospital care, lies on a stretcher, as officers prepare them for helicopter transport from rescue ship 'Ocean Viking' in the Mediterranean Sea, November 10, 2022. The Ocean Viking, which is operated by the SOS Mediterranee charity, was sailing on Thursday by the French island of Corsica, but had previously been close to Italy. The French would also reinforce controls at its borders with Italy to prevent migrant crossings, he said. Ocean Viking was the fourth. The far-right was quick to react to the decision to let the Ocean Viking dock, with the RN's Marine Le Pen tweeting that he was being "dramatically" soft on immigration.
Factbox: Carrefour's plan to accelerate its turnaround
  + stars: | 2022-11-08 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
FINANCIAL TARGETSCarrefour is targeting annual capital spending of 2.0 billion euros ($2 billion), up from 1.7 billion euros previously, and net free cash flow above 1.7 billion euros by 2026. It is also aiming for 4 billion euros in cost savings by that date. The group confirmed e-commerce initiatives announced in November 2021 and the objective of 10 billion euros in e-commerce Gross Merchandise Value by 2026. MAXIMIZING VALUE OF REAL ESTATEIn France, Carrefour said it had identified around 100 sites that could be transformed into housing, offices or stores. Carrefour plans to open that company's capital to minority partners to support its future development.
PARIS, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Carrefour (CARR.PA) will step up its expansion into e-commerce, slash costs and focus on cash generation as part of boss Alexandre Bompard's new strategy to accelerate the turnaround at Europe's largest food retailer amid soaring inflation. The French group, ahead of an investor presentation later on Tuesday, said it was aiming for a net free cash flow of over 1.7 billion euros ($1.7 billion) and 4 billion euros in cost savings in 2026. As a result, Carrefour said it was raising its annual investment target to 2.0 billion euros from 1.7 billion euros previously. Chairman and CEO Alexandre Bompard, who took the helm in July 2017, was reappointed in May 2021 for another three years. ($1 = 0.9996 euros)Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Mark PotterOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
The French group, which also announced a media joint venture with ad giant Publicis , said on Tuesday it was aiming for 4 billion euros ($4 billion) in cost savings and for net free cash flow of over 1.7 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in 2026. As a result, Carrefour said it was raising its annual investment target to 2.0 billion euros from 1.7 billion euros previously. "Carrefour 2026 is a plan to be on the offensive in markets marked by inflation and climate change ... The partnership with Publicis in retail media will take the form of a joint venture in which Carrefour will hold a 51% stake, the group said. ($1 = 0.9996 euros)Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Mark PotterOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
That complaint was dismissed in January 2018 but the same year Sherpa lodged a fresh complaint against the company with new witness statements on alleged abuses. Vinci said in a statement on Monday that it was "extremely regrettable" that despite the proceedings having started seven years ago, its subsidiary should face charges just before the start of the Football World Cup in Qatar. "None of the projects awarded to QDVC has any connection with the 2022 Football World Cup in Qatar. In fact these projects were entrusted to QDVC before the competition was awarded to Qatar and mainly relate to transport infrastructures," it said. "Vinci did not sign any contract with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, and has not built any stadium or hotel in Qatar," it added.
French energy minister says fuel supply crisis over
  + stars: | 2022-11-03 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
Companies TotalEnergies SE FollowPARIS, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Supply at French petrol stations is returning to normal with only one TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA) refinery at Feyzin in Southern France still on strike, Energy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said on Thursday. We are no longer in a crisis," Pannier-Runacher told LCP television. Less than 10% of French petrol stations still had supply problems, she added. Strike action continued at TotalEnergies' 117,000 bpd Feyzin oil refinery, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday, despite an end to a walkout at the company’s 240,000 bpd Gonfreville oil refinery. Strikes began at the company's French refineries on Sept. 27, contributing to fuel shortages.
[1/2] French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech in front of people involved in fighting wildfires last summer, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 28, 2022. Christophe Ena/Pool via REUTERSPARIS, Oct 28 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday vowed to replant 1 billion trees within 10 years, or 10% of the French forest, after massive summer wildfires ravaged huge areas of the country, especially in the southwest. Faced with the increased risk of fires amid mounting concern over global warming, Macron also announced plans to invest 250 million euros to modernize the firefighting air fleet. Macron made the announcements at a ceremony at the Elysee Palace to honour firemen, volunteers and local authorities who fought the summer wildfires. ($1 = 1.0048 euros)Reporting by Dominique Vidalon Editing by Frances KerryOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
The reduction could increase the energy price businesses face. EDF will be required to sell 100 terrawatt-hours (TWH) to rivals at what is known as the Arenh price, determined by the regulator, compared with 120 TWH this year. EDF this year suffered multi-billion euro losses after the government said in January the nuclear producer would have to increase by 20 TWH the volumes it is required to sell cheaply to curb enery costs. "I have said that the decision to raise the volume in 2022 was exceptional," Le Maire told a news conference, "we will therefore go back to 100 TWH in 2023." "We will cover half of the sum exceeding a reference price of 325 euros," Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne told a news conference.
PARIS, Oct 27 (Reuters) - French food group Danone (DANO.PA) on Thursday raised its 2022 revenue growth forecast after its third-quarter sales beat analysts' estimates as the firm was able to raise prices to counter soaring costs. Danone posted a 9.5% rise in third-quarter like-for-like sales to 7.334 billion euros ($7.35 billion), beating analysts' expectations for a 6.9% rise in a poll compiled by the company. This also marked a sequential acceleration from 7.7% sales growth achieved in the second quarter and reflected strength in all the group's businesses, notably in baby food in China and in bottled waters. Price increases contributed 10.9% to third-quarter revenue growth. Rival Unilever Plc (ULVR.L) also on Thursday raised its full-year sales forecast as it lifted prices to counter costs.
French 'Beyond Black' painter Pierre Soulages dies at 102
  + stars: | 2022-10-26 | by ( )   time to read: 1 min
PARIS, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Pierre Soulages, the French abstract painter best known for experimenting with different shades of black, has died aged 102, the museum dedicated to his life and work in his southwestern hometown of Rodez said on Wednesday. Soulages, who museum head Benoît Decron said died on Tuesday evening in hospital, had worked exclusively with black since 1979, notably in a series of works he called "Outrenoir", or "Beyond Black". Born on Christmas Eve 1919, he also created the 104 stained glass windows that adorn Conques Abbey in southwestern France. Soulages is survived by his wife Colette, who is 101. Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau, Dominique Vidalon, editing by Tassilo Hummel and John StonestreetOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
PARIS, Oct 24 (Reuters) - French technology consultancy company Atos (ATOS.PA) said on Monday it had been approached by several players interested in buying its Tech Foundations business. "Following rumors in the French press, Atos confirms that, since the presentation of its separation plan at the CMD on June 14, the company has been approached by several players interested in a potential acquisition of its Tech Foundations business," Atos said in a statement. "The possibility that such a mark of interest results in a transaction is very uncertain," it added, without naming any of the interested parties. Register now for FREE unlimited access to RegisterAtos reorganised its business around three divisions earlier this year, with the Tech Foundations unit grouping activities that the company defines as approaching maturity, such as data centres and business process outsourcing. Register now for FREE unlimited access to RegisterReporting by Dominique Vidalon, editing by Silvia Aloisi, editing by Richard LoughOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
PARIS, Oct 24 (Reuters) - French minerals company Imerys (IMTP.PA) said on Monday it wanted to become the leading supplier of lithium in Europe through a mining project in France. Register now for FREE unlimited access to RegisterThe company's shares rose by 5% in early Paris trade. Almost all the critical minerals currently come from outside the continent, with China dominating the global supply chain. Various miners are exploring domestic European lithium projects including in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. Register now for FREE unlimited access to RegisterReporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Tassilo Hummel and David HolmesOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
A view shows a Baccarat crystal perfume bottle made for Maison Psyche fragrance, a luxury perfume by French spirits group Remy Cointreau in this picture released by Remy Cointreau on October 21, 2022. Alice Fenwick - Remy Cointreau/Handout via REUTERSPARIS, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Known for its prized Louis XIII cognac, Remy Cointreau (RCOP.PA) is entering the luxury fragrance market with the launch of Maison Psyche, an upscale perfume house that will sell scents starting at 5,500 euros a bottle. The French spirits group will draw on its experience in blending and ageing spirits, as well as marketing to high end clientele, as it seeks to tap into affluent consumers' thirst for exclusivity. The new business could be “potentially strategic,” Remy Cointreau chief executive Eric Vallat told Reuters. Remy Cointreau's Maison Psyche was born from the collaboration of Baptiste Loiseau, Cellar Master of Remy Martin and Sophie Labbe, Principal Perfumer of Switzerland's fragrance group Firmenich.
PARIS, Oct 21 (Reuters) - France should unite in solidarity with the parents of a 12-year-old girl whose battered body was found last week in a suitcase outside her Paris home, President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday, calling her murder an act of "extreme evil". In his first public comments on the death of the girl, named Lola, Macron said the unspeakable atrocity that the crime represented was what has shocked the country most. "When we are faced with extreme evil and we realize that this is possible in our society," he told reporters at a European Union summit. The main suspect, a 24-year-old woman, was arrested on Monday and put under formal investigation on accusations of murder, rape and acts of torture. Register now for FREE unlimited access to RegisterReporting by Dominique Vidalon; Pascal Rossignol, editing by John Stonestreet, Kirsten DonovanOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
A couple walk with Hermes shopping bags as they leave an Hermes store in Paris March 21, 2013. Hermes (HRMS.PA) and Pernod Ricard (PERP.PA) both said they will continue to raise prices, after beating expectations in the July-September quarter. Mainland China also saw a strong rebound after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, although some restrictions have since been reimposed. PRICE RISESThe world's biggest luxury group LVMH (LVMH.PA) last week kicked off the earnings season with forecast-beating sales -- and no signs of a let-up in demand. The results from Pernod and Hermes bode well for beauty giant L'Oreal (OREP.PA) and Gucci-owner Kering (PRTP.PA), which both report results later on Thursday.
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