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    SEV   FR0010613471

SUEZ

(SEV)
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Suez chairman rejects 'mirage' of Veolia offer plan

09/12/2020 | 06:50pm EDT

PARIS, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Veolia's offer to acquire a stake in fellow French waste and water management group Suez was based on an "industrial mirage" that would weaken Suez in France and overseas, according to Suez' chairman in an interview with French newspaper JDD.

Veolia offered on Aug. 30 to buy a 29.9% stake in Suez from French gas and power utility Engie for 2.9 billion euros ($3.4 billion), and, if successful, to then launch a full takeover bid to create a "world champion of ecological transformation."

Suez's board and management have since rejected the offer and said the company was considering alternatives.

In the interview with JDD, Suez Chairman Philippe Varin called Veolia's offer "very hostile" and said the plan to create a sole French sector leader would bring job losses in France and hurt efforts to win overseas tenders.

"If you scratch the surface a bit, under the veneer of a French global super-champion that is being held up to us, I see an industrial mirage," Varin said.

He said Veolia's proposal to sell on Suez's French water business to infrastructure fund Meridiam raised "serious questions," since Meridiam financed but did not operate projects.

Suez management was working on an alternative solution, Varin confirmed. He declined to give details but noted that the French government, which has a large stake in Engie, had been clear about the need for a French dimension to any plan.

French private equity firm Ardian told Reuters last week it was talking to both Suez and Veolia, while French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he would meet soon with Suez.

Suez discussed the future of Engie's stake in July with Engie Chairman Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, agreeing on the need for a consensus and to rediscuss the matter in early September, Varin told JDD.

Clamadieu has called Veoila's offer too low but also said Suez should hurry up if it wants to present an alternative plan. ($1 = 0.8442 euros) (Reporting by Gus Trompiz Editing by Leslie Adler and Cynthia Osterman)


© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ENGIE -3.00% 11.252 Real-time Quote.-10.13%
SUEZ 0.13% 19.67 Real-time Quote.21.27%
VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT -0.90% 27.68 Real-time Quote.38.33%
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Financials
Sales 2021 16 991 M 20 159 M 20 159 M
Net income 2021 419 M 497 M 497 M
Net Debt 2021 9 483 M 11 252 M 11 252 M
P/E ratio 2021 32,9x
Yield 2021 3,36%
Capitalization 12 572 M 14 914 M 14 916 M
EV / Sales 2021 1,30x
EV / Sales 2022 1,30x
Nbr of Employees 81 689
Free-Float 59,8%
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Technical analysis trends SUEZ
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Income Statement Evolution
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Mean consensus UNDERPERFORM
Number of Analysts 8
Last Close Price 19,67 €
Average target price 18,31 €
Spread / Average Target -6,89%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
Bertrand Camus Chief Executive Officer & Director
Julian David Waldron Chief Financial Officer & Group Senior EVP-Finance
Philippe Varin Chairman
Jean-Marc Boursier Chief Operating Officer & Group SEVP-France
Delphine Ernotte Cunci Independent Director
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