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Suez gives in to Veolia takeover pressure

Veolia has succeeded in its takeover of Suez after a long and bitter battle, ending months of resistance from Suez. The two groups have agreed to enter into definitive agreements by 14 May.

Both parties have issued statements marking the deal, which sees Veolia paying EUR 20.50 for the approximately 70% of Suez shares it does not already own – up from the EUR 18 a share it paid when buying an initial stake last year. The two groups propose that the new Suez resulting from this agreement should be owned by a group of shareholders including financial partners from both groups and by employees, creating ‘a coherent and sustainable group with revenues of around EUR 7 billion’.

According to the Suez website, the agreement include social commitments from Veolia for four years after the deal is signed and commitments by Veolia regarding the composition of its management teams. For Veolia, it implements a plan for ‘a global champion of ecological transformation’ with revenues of around EUR 37 billion.

Veolia ceo Antoine Frérot said: ‘This agreement is beneficial for everyone: it guarantees the long-term future of Suez in France in a way that preserves competition and it guarantees jobs. All stakeholders in both groups are therefore winners. The time for confrontation is over, the time for combination has begun’.
Suez chairman Philippe Varin said: ‘We will be vigilant to ensure that the conditions are met to reach a final agreement that will put an end to the conflict between our two companies and offer development prospects’.

The transaction will require approval from competition authorities in several countries.

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