France relinquishes state share in TotalFinaElf

France has given up its "golden share" in TotalFinaElf SA giving the state a form of control over the capital of Elf and its African interests.

By an OGJ correspondent

PARIS, Oct. 7 -- France has given up its "golden share" in TotalFinaElf SA, which it has held since the privatization of Elf Aquitaine SA in1993, giving the state a form of control over the capital of Elf and its African interests.

Although then TotalFina SA acquired Elf by yearend 1999, France still retained its specific state share in Elf. The European Commission, however, countered France's ownership share in early June when the European Court of Justice condemned France for exercising undue control over the evolution of the capital of TotalFinaElf.

The official decree scrapping state share in TotalFinaElf was published Oct. 5 in France's official Gazette.

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