Waste management firm, Veolia, has acquired a 29.9% stake in rival Suez and will now file a voluntary takeover bid for the remaining Suez shares, it said in a statement.
ENGIE’s Board of Directors met earlier this week to approve Veolia’s offer to purchase its 29.9% stake in Suez.
While the ENGIE’s Board said it had ‘taken note’ of Veolia’s commitments, and notably its ‘unconditional commitment not to file a hostile takeover bid’, once it has acquired ENGIE’s stake in Suez, Suez said the purchase by Veolia of 29.9% of its capital was done so in ‘a hostile manner’ and under ‘unprecedented and irregular conditions’.
Veolia confirmed its intention to file a voluntary public takeover bid on the remaining Suez share capital in order to complete the merger of the two companies.
This offer will be at the same price as that paid to Engie – i.e. 18 euros per share.
This is a wonderful opportunity for the employees, customers and shareholders of both groups, and it is a project which serves France and the planet – Antoine Frérot, chief executive of Veolia
Veolia says this offer will not be launched without first having obtained a ‘favourable opinion’ from the board of directors of Suez.
It also says it has made a commitment that the merger operation will not have a ‘negative impact’ on employment in France and it will integrate Suez executives into the management bodies in ‘a spirit of balance and on the basis of competence criteria’.
Suez says it will use ‘all the means at its disposal’ to protect the interests of its employees, its clients and all its stakeholders, in particular to ensure equal and fair treatment of all its shareholders and avoid a ‘creeping takeover or de facto control’.
“SUEZ’s 150-year-long history does not end overnight, it said in a statement. “In this new phase, SUEZ expresses its thanks to all of the Group’s employees and social partners who work everyday, with pride in our values, to deliver essential services to our customers, in the spirit of our Corporate Purpose.”
Antoine Frérot, chief executive of Veolia said: “I am very happy to lay the foundation stone in France today for a world super champion of the ecological transformation.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the employees, customers and shareholders of both groups, and it is a project which serves France and the planet.”