February 14, 2018 / 12:25 PM / 2 years ago

Engie chairman expresses support for CEO, says Engie should consider acquisition opportunities

Jean-Pierre Clamadieu attends the French employer's body MEDEF union summer forum on the campus of the HEC School of Management in Jouy-en-Josas, near Paris, France, August 30, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - New Engie (ENGIE.PA) chairman and current Solvay (SOLB.BR) CEO Jean-Pierre Clamadieu expressed support for Engie’s chief executive Isabelle Kocher in a radio interview with BFM Business, and said Engie should eye acquisition opportunities.

Kocher, 51, had wanted to combine the roles of both CEO and chairman at French utility Engie after the impending retirement of current Engie chairman Gerard Mestrallet.

Nevertheless, Clamadieu - whose forthcoming appointment was confirmed on Tuesday - told BFM Business on Wednesday that he hoped to form an “effective duo” with Kocher, and that Kocher was the “operational boss”.

Kocher has led a 15 billion euro (13.35 billion pounds) divestment plan to switch Engie away from fossil fuels and focus on power grids, renewable energy and energy services.

She has also said she would be delighted with a new chairman provided he backs her strategy for the group.

Clamadieu said Engie had a “clear strategy” on asset sales, and added the company may also look to consider acquisition opportunities.

Reporting by Benjamin MalletEditing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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