French Group Eyes Tobacco Trading
France's stock market watchdog agency confirmed Friday it is looking into the share activity of the French tobacco group Seita in advance of the announcement that it was merging with the Spanish tobacco company Tabacalera.
Seita shares climbed earlier this week, shortly before the company announced late Tuesday it was merging with Tabacalera.
Seita and Tabacalera said they would each hold a 50 percent stake in a new company to be called Altadis, which would be the world's fourth-largest publicly held tobacco group.
The announcement by the Operations Commission of the Bourse brings to at least three the number of companies whose shares have been put under scrutiny in recent weeks.
Shares in the supermarket group Promodes also spiked higher in the days ahead of its announcement of a merger with fellow French retailer Carrefour.
And shares in Sita, a French waste management company, rose ahead of a decision in August by parent company Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux to launch a bid for the 29 percent stake it didn't already own in the firm.
A commission spokesman could give no further details of the decision to place Seita shares under surveillance, which allows for continued trading.