BREAKINGVIEWS-French water fight ends in honourable $15 bln draw

PUBLISHED: Mon, 12 Apr 2021 09:47:18 GMT

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

By Ed Cropley

LONDON, April 12 (Reuters Breakingviews) – After months of feuding, Veolia is buying the 70% of rival Suez it doesn’t own for 20.5 euros a share. Target boss Bertrand Camus has squeezed a few extra euros from his suitor. Meanwhile Veolia gets to keep its big prize: 500 mln euros of cost savings in North and South America.

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– French water and waste management utilities Veolia and Suez said on April 12 that they had agreed a deal worth nearly 13 billion euros, ending months of wrangling over the terms.

– Under the agreement, Veolia will pay 20.50 euros per share in cash for the 70.1% of Suez that it does not already own.

– Suez’s French water and sewage operations, along with its operations in Italy, the Czech Republic, Africa, Central Asia, India, China and Australia, will be split off into a “New Suez” which will be owned by shareholders including French investors Meridiam and Caisse des Depots.

– Suez shares were up 7.9% at 19.90 euros by 0820 GMT on April 12. Veolia shares climbed 6.8% to 24.11 euros.

– For previous columns by the author, Reuters customers can click on

(SIGN UP FOR BREAKINGVIEWS EMAIL ALERTS | Editing by Peter Thal Larsen and Oliver Taslic)

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