PSA Peugeot Citroen’s Chairman Thierry Peugeot lashed out against what he calls “evil attacks” by the new leftist French government and its industry minister Arnaud Montebourg. He also raised a specter that makes any patriotic politician sit up and listen: Hostile takeovers.
“There were words that don’t like, and they have been repeated: “lie” and “concealment”. We are ready to accept criticism, but there are limits,” Peugeot said in an interview with France’s conservative Le Figaro.
In the last few days, the PSA stock lost as much as 18 percent, and Peugeot blames “ the attacks which had an immediate effect on their perception of the group.” Market capitalization of Europe’s second-largest carmaker is down to a mere €2.3 billion, which is “in no relationship to the true equity of the company,” as Peugeot said.
Asked whether he feared a hostile takeover attempt, Peugeot answered: “Everything is possible, we have to act.” Moments later, he praised the alliance with PSA’s new 7 percent partner GM: “Real potential, real synergies, an excellent choice.” Montebourg has strongly criticized the deal with GM.
Nothing makes a French politician’s heart pound faster than the thought of the French crown jewels in American hands.