The European Commision has not yet been notified of any French state aid for PSA Peugeot-Citroen, European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said on Wednesday, adding that he would consider it.
“We have not yet received any formal communication or notification on this issue, but of course once we will receive the information we will have to create a very careful assessment of what is going on,” Almunia told a news briefing.
Almunia regulates state aid in the 27 states that form the European Union. PSA Peugeot-Citroen, Europe’s second-biggest automaker, said earlier on Wednesday it was closing in on an agreement with creditor banks on 11.5 billion euros ($14.9 billion) of refinancing and had received state guarantees of 7 billion euros in further borrowing for its financing division, Banque PSA Finance.
In return, the automaker agreed to appoint government and union board representatives, halt dividend payments and scrap stock-option awards to executives. Peugeot CEO Philippe Varin acknowledged European Union objections to the three-year refinancing “can’t be ruled out”, while his finance chief insisted that the plan broke no rules.
“It’s not state aid, it’s state support. It’s priced at market values,” said PSA Peugeot-Citroen chief financial officer Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon, adding that Peugeot would pay for the state guarantee.