Takeovers backlash

Aftershocks will follow the takeover by Norsk Hydro AS of Saga Petroleum AS and the anticipated takeover of Elf Aquitaine SA by TotalFina SA (see story, p. 23).The Norwegian government`s strengthened position after the Hydro-Saga deal is likely to deter foreign investors, while if TotalFina absorbs Elf as planned, the weakness of other companies will stand out.Wood Mackenzie Consultants Ltd., Edinburgh, said many people suspect the government was behind the deal between Hydro and state firm Statoil AS to keep Saga in Norwegian hands (OGJ, June 28, 1999, Newsletter).Statoil was able to "cherry-pick several key assets" from Saga`s portfolio, with Hydro taking the rest, WoodMac said. So Stat...

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