Although the headlines says "denies", another key strategic industry in France could be on sale to those devilish Anglo-saxons according to this Reuters news item:
PARIS (Reuters) - Carrefour denied on Monday it was holding any talks with U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart, following a newspaper report that executives from the two firms met in what could be precursor to a bid for the French retailer.
"Carrefour denies that there have been any talks between Carrefour and Wal-Mart," said a company spokeswoman.
The Mail on Sunday newspaper said Wal-Mart Chief Executive Lee Scott and Carrefour Chairman Luc Vandevelde held talks in Versailles within the last month that may have been a precursor to a Wal-Mart bid for the French firm.
Despite Carrefour's denial, shares in the French retailer rose 2.1 percent to 39.41 euros by 0715 GMT.
Speculation of a bid for Carrefour, the world's second-largest retailer, has surfaced before. Global market leader Wal-Mart and Britain's biggest supermarket chain Tesco have repeatedly been named as potential suitors.
The "denies" is fascinating. Why, I ask my self rhetorically, would it be news that company C and companies W & T deny that they have talked to each other when there would seem to be no particular reason that they would talk anyway?
Another question that springs to my mind, and no doubt that of George at EU-rota, is what will l'Escroc or Vile Pin do? will they cut short their holidays to announce to the press that the creation of vast hangerlike sheds filled with people and miscellaneous products for them to buy is a uniquely French invention that must be protected from the corrupting influence of Anglo-saxon capitalism? will they insist that Carrefour merge with a rival to produce a "national Champion", a veritable Géant amongst relatilers as it were? or ....
Surely they cannot just let the market and the company's shareholders decide?