Brussels has opened a full probe into France’s state-backed rescue package for Areva, raising the possibility of stricter restructuring conditions being attached to public support for the nuclear reactor maker. Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, said that the size and importance of the proposed rescue would require a careful review to ensure “the restructuring plan is sound and the state aid does not unduly distort competition”. As part of an intervention that is set to overhaul dramatically the country’s energy sector, the French government backed a big recapitalisation to save the state-controlled group. Brussels said France informed it of a public capital injection worth €4bn in April. While such state support for restructuring can be permitted in certain circumstances, the package of aid usually comes with EU conditions. It must contribute to “an objective common interest” while avoiding distorting competition in markets.
FT 19th July 2016 read more »
European Commission 19th July 2016 read more »