PARIS, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Veolia's offer to
acquire a stake in fellow French waste and water management
group Suez will not lead to job losses at Suez,
Veolia's CEO told newspaper Les Echos as he tries to overcome
Suez's opposition to his plan.
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
The offer has been rejected by Suez, with its chairman
saying in an interview published earlier on Sunday it
represented an "industrial mirage" that would bring job cuts in
In his interview with Les Echos, Antoine Frerot said
infrastructure fund Meridiam to which Veolia proposes to sell
Suez's French water business has provided guarantees about
preserving jobs, while employment would be the most important
criteria in any sale of waste assets due to competition issues.
"For staff, there is therefore strictly no risk of job
losses," Frerot was quoted as saying.
Four or five of a dozen-strong executive committee in the
combined company were expected to be former Suez staff,
including potentially Suez Chief Executive Bertrand Camus, he
Suez has said it is working on an alternative solution for
Engie's stake, while Engie has said Veolia's offer is too low.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has said he would
meet soon with Suez to discuss the issue.
Veolia did not plan to extend its offer beyond a current
Sept. 30 deadline, Frerot said.
He reiterated that his group planned to pay for the 29.9%
stake in Suez in cash, and would consider several debt options
to finance a full takeover, adding Veolia had the backing of its
A capital increase was another possibility but would only
represent a small part of the deal financing and occur at the
end of the process, he said.
(Reporting by Gus Trompiz, Editing by William Maclean and