Elf Aquitaine's CEO To Quit After Mega-Merger With TotalFina

PARIS: French oil groups TotalFina and Elf Aquitaine ended their two-month-old takeover battle Sept. 13 as they reached an amicable accord on an equal footing. Under the terms of the agreement, TotalFina sweetened its offer for its domestic rival Elf Aquitaine, now offering 19 of its own shares for 13 of Elf Aquitaine's. The merger, which will give birth to the world's No. 4 oil group, will be headed by TotalFina's Thierry Desmarest and will integrate the chemicals unit -- a sore point in prior discussions. "The chemicals segment will pursue a policy of growth and the integration of its different sectors to maximize synergies," TotalFina said in a statement, adding that "within this framework, a joint study group will evaluate the necessary changes in the chemicals organization." The two companies failed to agree on the spin-off of the chemicals unit, a project supported by Elf and labeled "a heresy" by Desmarest only last week. Elf Aquitaine's CEO Philippe Jaffre will step down at the completion of the offer.

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