Elf's counterattack

After TotalFina SA made a takeover bid for Elf Aquitaine SA early this month, Elf Chairman and CEO Phillippe Jaffr? kept markets waiting for a response.TotalFina`s bid valued Elf at 42 billion euros ($42.8 billion) and was welcomed by the financial community as a sound proposal. Jaffr?`s plight was made worse by the French government`s approval of the offer (OGJ, July 12, 1999, p. 22).Royal Dutch/Shell, Chevron Corp., and Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI) were identified by analysts as potential "white knights." Another scenario had Elf merging with BG plc to sidestep TotalFina`s advances.The speculation was rendered void when the French government said it would not allow a foreign company...

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