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POLITICS

France begins nationalisation of power giant

On Tuesday, France began the process of taking full control of EDF, the highly indebted power utility that is to spearhead efforts to relaunch the country's nuclear industry.

France begins nationalisation of power giant
The logo of EDF on the headquarters' building in 2019 in Paris (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD / AFP)

The state, which currently owns 84 percent of EDF, filed a takeover offer with the financial markets regulators, the first step in removing EDF’s shares from the market.

The French government in July signalled its intention to fully reabsorb EDF.

It hopes the move will help re-instill confidence in the company, which has a €60-billion debt, as the government wants to launch construction of six next-generation nuclear reactors.

The state is offering €12 per share, and if it takes its holding to 90 percent, it can force other shareholders to sell.

The entire operation will cost €9.7 billion.

After the 1970s energy shocks, France began a massive programme to build nuclear power plants, which eventually accounted for around three-quarters of electricity production.

But France’s oldest reactors are reaching the end of their service lives and EDF’s efforts to build a new generation of nuclear power plants has faced massive delays and cost overruns.

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ECONOMY

Frenchman businessman (briefly) overtakes Elon Musk as world’s richest man

Tesla-owner Elon Musk briefly lost the top spot on Forbes' billionaire list on Wednesday to Bernard Arnault, whose family owns the world's leading luxury group, LVMH.

Frenchman businessman (briefly) overtakes Elon Musk as world's richest man

With US tech stocks sliding as interest rates and recession fears rise, Musk’s fortune briefly fell below that of the Arnault family.

But around 5.30pm, Musk was back on top at $184.9 billion, followed by Arnault and his family at $184.7 billion.

Indian businessman Gautam Adani was in third place at $134.8 billion, with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in fourth at $111.3 billion.

Arnault had also topped the Forbes list for several hours in 2021.

His LVMH group, with includes dozens of brands including Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, and Kenzo, has continued to post strong revenue and profit growth despite the latest global economic headwinds.

Musk’s fortune is primarily tied to the share price of Tesla, and the entrepreneur has been at the centre of controversy after having taken over Twitter in late October.

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