Less than a day after Engie accepted Veolia’s new bid for most of its stake in Suez, the French private equity group Ardian, backed by Suez, has informed of its interest in the acquisition of a 29.9% stake in Suez.
Ardian said in a statement it wishes to set up a consortium of private and public institutional investors, mainly French, to carry out this project and launch a friendly public offer.
Suez confirmed its support for the letter of intent issued and made public by Ardian and the “all-cash takeover bid that would immediately follow for all SUEZ shareholders, under the same treatment conditions.”
It is uncertain if the last-minute bid supported by Suez comes too late to derail Veolia’s €3.4 billion offer.
Engie has asked Veolia for more time to formally accept the offer, seemingly to try to persuade both companies to negotiate. However, Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, Engie’s chairman, said the time for alternate bids had passed.
Suez had fiercely rejected Veolia’s proposal to buy the majority of Engie’s stake in Suez with a goal to create a "French world champion of ecological transformation."
Engie said on Thursday that it had received the offer from Ardian before it said it welcomed Veolia’s latest bid, but that it had come too late and had lacked sufficient details, particularly on price, reports FT.