A power struggle was actually China encroaching on France's Largest Company. France decided to nationalize instead.
Hello, I'm French and I don't see everythings as suspiciously as you.
That's not really shocking that French governement wants to keep a major company away from chinese influence. Lots of other countries would do the same. Maybe the most questionable action is the choice of CEO. What could be questionnable was the concentration of power in the hand of the former CEO that could also have been the trigger for a change in management.
On other aspect of your article, CEA and INRIA are two main fundamental research agency in the field of physics and computer science, it's more a bunch of engineers that politicians. On the other side BPI France is the french governement fund for startups.
Soitec was funded by two researchers at CEA, at the beginning of the company, the CEA and BPIFrance were probably the two entities that put money and resources to byuild the company, that's why the have a significant part of the shares and they must have been the initial shareholders. Pretty normal I think.
In that way that's not really suspicious to find people that funded the company in the different boards. It's not suspicious to find people from the main physics research agency (CEA) as board members too. Since they are engineers, since they helped create the company and since it's their field of expertise.
Also nationalization is a very abusive word since it's not what have been done. France can nationalize a company by bying all the shares, that's not what have been done here. A French CEO was chosen by a board wich is mainly French, and the board has strong ties with french state owned agencies. But these agencies are legitimate (they help fund and create the company).
Maybe a more legitimate question would be, is the new CEO a french Puppet ? That would merit some digging.
I find your analysis interesting (I read it till the end :-) ) but i find it a bit romanced. Not everything is suspicious here.
Hi Doug, very well written article 👍
About Atos, yes they are in trouble for several reasons (but it's getting better), and the Atos "Big Data and Cybersecurity division" is the only growing (and which seems to be well managed) of the group. In addition, Atos is seen by many as linked to the French Ministry of Defence, especially its branch "Big Data and Cybersecurity division". Atos is known to be a very political company, and perhaps the best sign that the French state has secured control of Soitec... is precisely that the CEO comes from this branch of Atos.
Looking forward to reading you,