Daily Management Review

Veolia, Suez to merge, create new environmental services giant


French water company Veolia will acquire a 29.9% stake in Suez Environmental ("Suez") for €3.4 billion, Bloomberg reports. Previously, 32% of Suez shares were owned by Engie, one of the largest energy companies in France.

The transaction was announced by the board of directors of Engie on Monday. Veolia is willing to pay €18 for each Suez share. In doing so, the latter has pledged to retain all Suez jobs in France by 2023. The latter condition was extremely important for the French authorities, who feared that the merger of the two companies would lead to a reduction in staff. 

This deal effectively gives the green light to Veolia's takeover of Suez, which could lead to the creation of the world's largest waste management and other environmental services company. The new company could generate €40 billion in annual sales worldwide. 

Veolia made its first offer to buy a stake in Suez Environmental on August30, but negotiations between the two corporations were not easy. Suez was strongly opposed to this deal, as it is not in the interests of the company's shareholders. The company's shareholders have been much more supportive of the purchase proposal from the investment company Ardian SAS, but the latter has stated that they are not yet ready to take over Suez.

As a result of recent meetings between Veolia and Suez, the parties have made some progress on the formalization of the deal, but no final agreement has been reached.

source: reuters.com