Peugeot family backs state candidate for chairman: paper

PARIS Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:28pm EDT

Louis Gallois, France's General Commissioner for Investment, arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris to attend a meeting on investment strategy, January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Louis Gallois, France's General Commissioner for Investment, arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris to attend a meeting on investment strategy, January 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

PARIS (Reuters) - French civil servant Louis Gallois is set to become chairman of French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen (PEUP.PA) after the founding Peugeot family was persuaded by the government to support his nomination, Le Figaro reported on Wednesday.

Gallois, France's investment commissioner and a former head of the SNCF state railway as well as defense group EADS EAD.PA, has been backed by ministers to take over from outgoing Chairman Thierry Peugeot.

The Peugeot clan, ceding control of the carmaker in a 3 billion euro ($4.2 billion) share issue that will see the government and China's Dongfeng (0489.HK) take 14 percent stakes to match its own diluted holding, had previously backed former Nexans (NEXS.PA) boss Gerard Hauser.

But the family has now agreed to back Gallois following meetings with Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici and Emmanuel Macron, senior adviser to President Francois Hollande, daily Le Figaro said in its report, which did not identify sources.

A Peugeot spokesman declined to comment.

Gallois has already served as a Peugeot board member since late 2012, when his appointment as a nominal independent was imposed on the company by the Hollande government in return for 7 billion euros in state loan guarantees.

($1 = 0.7192 euros)

(Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by Eric Walsh)