Eleven Aquitaine

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Elf Aquitaine is a former French oil company , also known under the brand name ELF . The company merged with TotalFina in 2000 to form the new company TotalFinaElf , which has been called Total since 2003 .


In 1965, Régie Autonomie des Pétroles (RAP) and Bureau de Recherches de Pétrole (BRP) merged to form the Holding Entreprise de Recherches et d'Activité Pétrolières ( ERAP ) . After a short time, ERAP was given the company name Elf Aquitaine . In 1966 there were 4,500 filling stations. In 1967 the company had 12,000 employees. Preparations for the merger of UGP and UGD to form ERAP were completed in October 1966. On April 27, 1967, the dissimilar brands and products were combined under the ELF brand and the SNPA merged with ERAP to form Elf-ERAP . In 1969, British Formula 1 driver Jackie Stewart from the Matra Sports team won the world championship. In 1971, the ERAP and Société Nationale des Pétroles d'Aquitaine (SNPA) were merged to form the Société Nationale Elf Aquitaine (SNEA) , or Elf Aquitaine for short . 1973 the subsidiary Sanofi (health and cosmetics) was founded. In 1993, Sanofi took over Yves Saint Laurent . In 1976 the Elf-ERAP was renamed Société Nationale Elf Aquitaine (SNEA), later renamed Elf Aquitaine . Petrol stations in France remained under the Antar brand name until the 1980s. From then on, the UGP appeared under the name ELF Union and the UGD under the name ELF Distribution . At the same time, ELF worked together with Matra Sports in motorsport. In 1983 the chemical company Atochem was founded as a subsidiary. In 1989 Atochem was sold to the US Pennwalt Corporation . In 1992, Elf Aquitaine acquired the German Minol . The Leuna affair overshadowed this deal. In 1994 Elf Aquitaine was privatized under the conservative government of Édouard Balladur . In 2000 Elf Aquitaine and TotalFina merge to form the TotalFinaElf group. Shortly afterwards, only the name Total was used for the entire group.

In the summer of 1964, a number of different combinations of three, four or five letters were developed for the upcoming new umbrella company ERAP, including Ritm, Alzan, Elf, Elfe and Elan. Ultimately, the choice fell on the made-up word ELF. The name has nothing to do with the number eleven and is not an acronym. However, it is regularly interpreted as Essence et Lubrifiants de France .

The logo represents a stylized drill bit with a blue and a red side, which remains white in the middle, symbol of the French flag.

"Aquitaine" refers to the French region of Aquitaine with the capital Bordeaux .

Eleven today

Today the brand name Elf is used with a new color scheme as a cheap petrol brand well below the TOTAL.

Eleven Aquitaine and politics

Under the Elf-President Loïk Le Floch-Prigent from 1989 to 1993 his confidante Alfred Sirven worked as director for general affairs, who together with André Tarallo as Monsieur Afrique had a branch Elf Aquitaine Internationale (EAI) in Geneva , about the big bribes for various African activities were paid. Judicial investigations and a. the French chief investigating judge of the Parisian Palais de Justice , Eva Joly , uncovered another subsidiary in Geneva, the Rivunion, founded in 1980, which was Le Floch-Prigent's black box office in Switzerland. When the Spanish refinery Ertoil was taken over by the Kuwaiti public authorities, which needed quick money in connection with the Second Gulf War in 1990, the Iraqi billionaire Nadhmi Auchi was apparently interposed, who after only four months sold Ertoil to the Spanish group Cepsa , at Elf Aquitaine was involved with 34%. Auchi's right-hand man was the Spanish politician and businessman Daniel de Busturia . Up to FF 54 million commissions are said to have flowed during the takeover.

In Germany, Elf Aquitaine became known, among other things, in connection with the takeover of the Leuna works and the Minol petrol station network through the so-called Leuna affair at the beginning of the 1990s.

When Elf Aquitaine was involved in Uzbekistan , commissions are also said to have flowed to President Islom Karimov , some of which were said to have gone to a friend of the then President François Mitterrand , the novelist Françoise Sagan , who was on trial for this.

As early as the 1960s, according to various French media reports, Elf made large sums of money available to politicians in Africa for election campaigns, but also for the purchase of weapons. At times, Elf is said to have been the legal cover for France's intelligence activities in Africa. Le Floch-Prigent put it this way in court:

“In 1962, Pierre Guillaumat convinced General de Gaulle to create a parallel structure of oil technicians. By founding Elf in addition to Total, the Gaullists hoped to build a secular branch of the [French] state in Africa [...] a kind of permanent oil ministry [...] a kind of intelligence service in the oil-producing countries. "

Elf provided the Gaullist presidents with the ideal camouflage and financial resources for political and military operations in French areas of interest in Africa. The executive boards of the oil company viewed the Gaullist rulers as their only legitimate masters and expected their return to power. They even financed attempts to weaken the authority of the non-Gaulle President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing . Eleven specific and distant politicians in Gabon , Cameroon , Angola and the Congo and expanding its influence throughout Francophone Africa. Even in English-speaking countries like Nigeria , Elf is said to have had a great influence. Elf is also said to have had political ambitions in Uzbekistan and Venezuela. The name of the President of Gabon, Omar Bongo , appeared, whose discreet advisor was none other than Alfred Sirven. With the help of Omar Bongo, the oil company gained access to OPEC and participated in the illegal trade in nuclear technology . Omar Bongo collected CFA 100 million in cash from the Elf Sogara refinery in Port-Gentil in Gabon on January 21, 1992 in Libreville , the currency of 14 francophone West African countries. All major French parties received donations from Elf.

In 1979 a fraud scandal was exposed (made public in 1983), the victim of which was Elf Aquitaine and which also drew political circles ( Affaire des avions renifleurs ).

During the Mitterrand era, France's largest group served as an instrument for France to exert economic and political influence abroad. But unlike his predecessors, Mitterrand did not limit himself to the national argument, but instead demanded part of the booty from robbers for his party and his followers according to the clan logic. The Gaullists shouldn't be neglected, but all parties should get some of the pie. In return, individual board members were able to amass private fortunes. According to Le Floch-Prigent, Mitterrand is supposed to be kept informed about the payments and the status of the negotiations and to have personally instructed the payments. For this purpose, extensive black coffers were set up in Switzerland, which distributed their donations via Liechtenstein letterbox companies and contact people such as Dieter Holzer .

1991 Elf Aquitaine York was on the New Stock Exchange New York Stock Exchange traded for the first time. Le Floch-Prigent's successor was Philippe Jaffré . In 1996 the French government sold its shares, but kept one gold share . The company merged with TotalFina in 2000 to form the new company TotalFinaElf .


In 1967 a gas station on a national road was given a new design as a PR campaign for a film with Mireille Darc .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. total.de