| 2:13 PM EST

France Hikes Stake in Valeo

The French government’s Bpifrance investment arm has increased its stake in auto supplier Valeo SA to 5%, in part over concern that activist investors may target the country’s companies.
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The French government’s Bpifrance investment arm has increased its stake in auto supplier Valeo SA from less than 4% to just over 5%.

The move is said to be made in part over concern that activist investors planned to target French companies. Earlier this week, Bpifrance CEO Nicolas Dufourcq indicated the fund had nearly 2 billion ($2.3 billion) to counter such attacks.

Valeo’s stock, which has plunged more than 50% over the past year, rose 1% to close at 25.85 ($29) on Friday. The decline is attributed to softening new car sales, changing emissions regulations in Europe and skepticism over the near-term potential for Valeo’s autonomous driving technologies.

Chicago-based Harris Associates, which increased its stake in Valeo to 6% last year, tells Reuters it remains “fully supportive” of the company and its leadership team.

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