Engie’s Board of Directors reviewed yesterday the new proposal made by Veolia for the acquisition of a 29.9% ownership stake in SUEZ held by ENGIE, with a expiry date of midnight on Wednesday 30 September.
Engie has said in a press release: “This offer brings important clarifications and improvements compared to the previous offer. The Board welcomes the additional commitments taken by VEOLIA, regarding its industrial project and guarantees provided on social matters in particular, as well as the offered price, which were part of the mandate granted by the Board on 17 September to its Chairman and the Interim Chief Executive Officer”.
The Board considers this new offer is in line with its expectations in terms of price and social guarantees. Considering the importance of the transaction for all stakeholders, the Board decided to request that VEOLIA extends the validity period of its new offer until 5 October 2020 in order that VEOLIA formalizes its unconditional commitment not to launch a public tender offer which wouldn’t be friendly.
ENGIE’s Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer will maintain their efforts to favour dialogue between both companies.
Veolia welcomes the news
Yesterday evening Veolia confirmed that it welcomes Engie’s requests:
- extension of the validity of the offer presented today to Engie until Monday October 5, 2020;
- formalization, by that date, of the terms of its commitment not to launch a hostile takeover bid on Suez shares.
Veolia raised its offer for Engie’s stake in Suez to 3.4 billion euros
France-based Veolia Environnement SA increased yesterday morning its bid for Engie’s 29.9% stake in its smaller rival Suez by 16%.
Initially the waste and water giant had offered a price of €15.50 per Suez share, a total of 2.9 billion euros ($3.38 billion). The bid was rejected by Engie saying “the offer cannot be accepted under its proposed terms.”
“Taking into consideration both the French State and Engie’s concerns, Veolia has decided to improve all the characteristics of its offer in order to present the best possible offer for the vote of the Board of Directors of Engie today,” said Veolia in a press release.
Veolia raised its offer to 18 euros a share, or approximately 3.4 billion euros ($4 billion).
“Veolia is improving the price of its offer to purchase the 29.9% stake of Suez from Engie, increasing it to €18 per share (including dividend).”
It also pledged to maintain full employment in France if it takes control of the company.
“With regards to activities in France which will have to be divested in order to obtain the anti-trust clearance, Veolia commits that the buyers will undertake the same commitments.”