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Purchase of Veolia’s 29.9% stake in Suez is valid says French court

  • Purchase of Veolia’s 29.9% stake in Suez is valid says French court
    Antoine Frérot, CEO of Veolia

The French court has ruled in favour of Veolia Environnement S.A. in the long legal scuffle surrounding the acquisition of 29.9% of Suez shares last October from world energy actor Engie.

Paris’s Court of Appeal confirmed the decision of the French Stock Exchange Authority, which considered Veolia was not in a pre-offer period as of August 30, 2020. As a consequence, Veolia could validly acquire, on October 5, 2020, the 29.9% of the share capital of Suez.

Since October, Veolia has tried to coax the Suez board to grant the French giant the rest of the company, but after fruitless negotiations, the company launched a bid last week for Suez’s remaining shares at €18 per share -valuing Suez at €11.3 billion ($13.6 billion).

The move was quickly labeled hostile and the Nanterre Commercial Court forbid Veolia from filing its public offer.

Since then, Suez has agreed to a proposal by French politicians for a mediator to be appointed to find a friendly solution to Veolia’s attempted takeover bid.

In a press release, Suez said the firm will put “forward propositions consistent with its determination to promote its corporate interest, that of its shareholders, employees, and all of its stakeholders.

“The objective will also be to ensure that France maintains its two world leaders in essential environment-related services.”

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