PSA Peugeot Citroen vulnerable to hostile takeover bids – Chairman image

France government criticism of PSA Peugeot Citroen’s jobcuts left the automaker vulnerable to hostile takeover bids, Chairman Thierry Peugeot said in an interview with Le Figaro.

“We’re prepared to accept criticism, but there are limits,” Thierry Peugeot told the French daily, responding to suggestions by government figures including President Francois Hollande that the company had lied about its plans.

“The attacks that the company has suffered have an immediate effect on (investor) perceptions,” he was quoted as saying.

Last week, the price of shares in French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen fell by more than 8.0 percent, the day after the group announced a radical restructuring with the loss of 8,000 jobs.

The plan cuts 8,000 jobs in France and will close down the factory at Aulnay with 3,000 employees. 1,000 posts will go out of a total of 5,600 from the La Janais site close to Rennes.

The closure of Aulnay is the first in the automotive industry in France for 20 years.
Varin said that the company had looked at reducing costs outside France but decided against cuts at its Trnava plant in Slovakia, where labour costs are much lower, or at its factory in Madrid, which is too small to have much impact.

French President Francois Hollande, whose Socialist government won power in May with a promise reverse an industrial decline that has seen 750,000 jobs lost over the past decade, has called on the company to renegotiate the layoff plan.