France-based Veolia has sent the Board of Directors of Suez the public offer proposal that it intends to file for the 70.1% of the capital of Suez which is not in its possession. This formal proposal describes all the elements of the industrial project, the social project and the financial conditions that Veolia will offer when the offer is actually submitted.
Last year, in October, Veolia acquired 29.9% of Suez from utility Engie with the intention to make an offer for the rest of the group in 2021. The Board of Directors of Suez has actively battled this acquisition which has led to legal challenges from both Veolia and Suez.
The submission of this formal proposal to the Board of Directors of the Suez group is, once again, in line with Veolia's desire to be perfectly transparent about its proposed project with Suez, and in line with all the announcements and all the commitments it has made public since August 30, 2020, said a statement released today by the waste and water management company.
Veolia wants this proposal to establish the reality of the constituent elements of the Group's plan to create a global champion of the ecological transformation
Veolia wants this proposal to establish the reality of the constituent elements of the Group's plan to create a global champion of the ecological transformation. In particular, the Group hopes that this new step will enable all Suez shareholders to know the terms of Veolia's offer proposal on which they will have to express themselves.
Antoine Frérot, Chairman and CEO of Veolia, said: "Today we are taking a new step, which brings us even closer to the completion of our project. This step was expected: it allows Suez shareholders in particular to become officially acquainted with all the terms of our proposed offer and to form an opinion on its industrial, social and financial meaning."
Asked at a press conference whether Veolia intends to guarantee the employment of Agbar, the Spanish company specialized in the distribution and treatment of water and subsidiary of Suez, after taking control of the France-based company, Antoine Frérot replied "Yes, of course", and asked Suez not to sell its Catalan subsidiary. According to El Economista, Frerot has expressed Veolia's interest in Agbar's experience in water treatment, as well as its positions in Spain and Latin America.
Suez acknowledged the receipt of Veolia’s proposal on Thursday and restated its opposition to a deal.
In a press release, the company said: “The interests of the project for shareholders and other stakeholders, including employees and clients need to be assessed in the light of alternative projects with the potential to create significant shareholder value, within a rapid and controlled implementation schedule. The Board will also be attentive to the coherence with the SUEZ 2030 strategic plan and the Group’s Purpose.”
"As stated by Veolia itself, a binding offer cannot be filed at the moment with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers: indeed, the operation proposed was organized and structured by Veolia in irregular terms; the operation is subject to legal procedures and suspensive judgments in court."