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Swiss ask French to stay neutral

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Novartis "takes note of the invitation by the Aventis Supervisory Board to enter into negotiations regarding a potential transaction," firm says in an April 2 statement. The invitation was one of two conditions outlined by the Swiss firm to be met before entering into merger talks (1"The Tan Sheet" March 29, 2004, p. 5). The second condition was for the French government to "assume a neutral position." Novartis says it expects the Aventis board to "clarify with the French Government the importance of such a transaction for the shareholders of Aventis as well as its benefits for employment and for research and development"...

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