France nationalizing shipyard amid Italian takeover interest

The French government is nationalizing the country's emblematic Saint Nazaire shipyard to ensure an Italian company does not take it over at the end of the week.

Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire insisted that the decision is temporary and meant to buy time and that negotiations with the Italian state-owned group Fincantieri will continue. He said he was going to Rome on Tuesday for more talks.

The unexpected decision to nationalize the Saint Nazaire shipyard on the Atlantic coast is the first major foray into the industrial sector for President Emmanuel Macron, and runs counter to the free-market image the French chief of state has sought to project.

Le Maire did not...