The French Government is set to issue a decree which would outlaw foreign takeovers of domestic companies in certain sectors. The move follows recent outrage in the country over speculation that PepsiCo was looking to buy Danone.

A spokeswoman for the Industry Ministry yesterday (29 August) confirmed comments made by Industry Minister Francois Loos in an interview with Les Echos.

The decree would allow the Government to prohibit takeovers from abroad of French companies in unspecified "strategic sectors" of the economy.

In the interview with the French paper, Loos said: "Companies may be allowed to defend themselves using methods used in their suitor's country of origin." The decree will be published "within a few weeks," Loos told the paper.

The spokeswoman could not elaborate on the time scale or the specific economic sectors that would be covered by the decree.