Veolia is ready to "discuss" with Engie the entire plan to buy back its shares in Suez, including their price.
But according to one of the leaders of Suez, a potential merger with Veolia could lead to several thousand job cuts around the world.
Veolia is ready to "discuss" with Engie the entire project to buy back its shares in Suez, including their price, said on Tuesday the deputy general manager of the leader in environmental services, Estelle Brachlianoff.
"Discussions are possible on the entire project. The price is one of the components," she told AFP, while Engie asked Veolia to improve its takeover offer for its 29 , 9% stake in Suez.
At 2.9 billion euros, the current offer from Veolia is however "a very good offer", estimated the manager, who underlines the importance of other aspects in the project of her group, in particular on the social level. .
These statements came following a pass of arms between Veolia and Suez on the social impact of a potential merger.
"Obviously that would lead to a social breakage. It was estimated at 10,000 people in the world including 4 to 5,000 in France", said the deputy general manager of Suez, Jean-Marc Boursier, in front of some journalists on the sidelines of a visit to the Suez International Center for Research on Water and the Environment in Yvelines.
"We guarantee 100% of employment in France"
According to the Deputy Managing Director of Veolia, the fears for employment raised by Suez in the event of a takeover by Veolia are "a phantom threat".
"We guarantee 100% of employment in France, for everyone, and all social benefits. We are ready to write it down, to sign this commitment," she said.
"Ten thousand jobs is what Suez has given up in terms of staff over the past week", with the announcement of the sale of several activities in Germany or in Sweden, she added.
Regarding employees in the field, wastewater treatment plants or garbage trucks "will always need" the same workforce, "whatever the logo" placed on the equipment, she assures us.
Suez headquarters staff will also have their place: "we spend our time recruiting engineers, lawyers ...," assures Estelle Brachlianoff.
“Better still, we are inventing the jobs of tomorrow, in new technologies, for example in the recycling of electric car batteries, the treatment of new pollutants ...”, she describes, praising the invention “in France of solutions ecological tomorrow ".