Yesterday we witnessed a new chapter of the standoff between Veolia and Suez’s management, as the company led by Antoine Frérot released a statement where it warns that it will oppose the disposal of assets it considers strategic, including Spanish subsidiary Agbar. It reads like this:
“Following announcements by Suez’s management of new asset disposals in the coming weeks, while discussions with Veolia are but at a preliminary stage, Veolia wishes to remind the list of Suez assets it considers strategic: water activities of Suez in Spain, Chile, the United States, as well as waste activities in the United Kingdom and Australia. This list has been made public for several weeks.
Veolia considers that the sale of one of these assets would be expressly contrary to the friendly context in which Suez declared itself ready to open a dialogue and would be resolutely hostile to Veolia’s industrial project, thus harming the social interests of both groups as well as the interests of all of Suez’s shareholders, including Veolia.
Veolia will therefore oppose it by all legal means.”
The news comes after last week Suez announced it had received a letter of intent from Ardian and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) stating their willingness to submit a purchase offer that would value the water and waste treatment company at some €11.3 billion, setting a price of €18 per share, the same price that Veolia offers to purchase the 70.1% of its rival’s capital which is not in its possession yet.
On Monday Suez reported its 2020 results exceed the guidance they set at the end of July for the second half of 2020. Specifically, the operating earnings (EBIT) are in the €670 to 680 million range (between $814 and $827 million), above the €600 to €650 million range ($729 to $790 million) expected in July. EBIDTA stands at c. €1.6 billion ($1.9 billion).
SUEZ exceeds its second-half 2020 guidance
— SUEZ (@suez) January 25, 2021