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Aventis seeks Rhodia stake sale delay

November 03, 2003
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According to Dow Jones Business News, Franco-German pharmaceuticals company Aventis SA said Monday that it has begun talks with the European Union Commission for more flexibility regarding the disposal of its 15.3 percent stake in debt-laden chemicals company Rhodia SA . The EU had made a reduction of the Rhodia holding to below 5 percent by April, 2004, a stipulation in its approval of the merger between Hoechst AG and Rhone- Poulenc SA in 2000 to create Aventis. Aventis said it remains committed to divesting all its non-core businesses by the end of 2004, but said an immediate forced disposal of its remaining stake in Rhodia "could have a detrimental impact." Rhodia, which produces chemicals used in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to plastics and food additives, said "collapsing demand" for its pharmaceutical, agrochemical, fibers and textiles products in the July to September period contributed to a net loss of EUR99 million for the quarter, compared to a EUR29 million net loss a year earlier. It said the reporting period was its worst quarter ever.
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