The French Government has reportedly designated 20 top companies as ‘national champions’ to be protected from foreign takeover. According to a report in La Tribune on Friday (3 March), retailer Carrefour and dairy manufacturer Danone are included on the list of protected companies.

In Friday trading, the share prices of many companies included on the list declined slightly, with Danone slipping 0.4% and Carrefour shares dropping 0.7%.
This move enhances France’s reputation as one of Europe’s most protectionist nations, building on a reputation that was enhanced last year when members of the French Government reacted angrily to rumours that PepsiCo was planning a bid for Danone, even though the bid was never submitted.