Suez rejects the merger desired by Veolia.
In the event of a merger between Veolia and Suez, around 10,000 jobs around the world would be threatened, said Tuesday the deputy general manager of Suez, who rejects the merger project desired by his rival.
“Obviously that would lead to a social break-up.
It has been estimated at 10,000 people worldwide, including 4 to 5,000 in France, ”said 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 the Yvelines.
"This operation does not make sense for us"
He specified that these calculations had been made “together” with Veolia in 2012, when a merger between the two groups had already been considered, then abandoned, the discussions having notably stumbled on the probable dominant position on the water market. in France of the new entity that would have been created.
"When we saw the appalling nature of the number of layoffs we had to make, we closed the file," said Jean-Marc Boursier.
But at the end of August, Veolia again expressed its interest in its competitor, and Suez has since continued to defend its independence and its ability to achieve its objectives “autonomously”.
"This operation does not make sense for us," reiterated Jean-Marc Boursier, stressing that it was "inopportune", both for the group's customers, its employees and even its shareholders.
It would lead to a "weakening of competition", which would result in an increase in prices charged to communities, he said.
“What is the logic of destroying jobs in France?
The employees of the group would be scattered, because Veolia would have to resell various activities to meet the requirements of antitrust laws.
“At a time when the health crisis is evolving into an economic crisis, a social crisis (…) what is the logic of destroying jobs in France?
», Hammered Jean-Marc Boursier.
Tuesday morning, during a demonstration of Suez employees in La Défense, the secretary (CGT) of the European Works Council of Suez, Franck Reinhold von Essen, had also mentioned "a big social breakdown" in the event of a merger.
“The competition authority will certainly ask Veolia to sell entire areas of activity.
There will inevitably be a big social breakdown (…) These are 29,000 jobs at Suez (in France), of which 75% will have to be sold.
If we apply the 20% rate that is used for restructuring, that makes 4 to 5,000 jobs lost ”in France, he detailed.
The Suez group has been fighting for its independence since the end of August, since its main shareholder, Engie, was offered by Veolia to sell its 29.9% of shares for 2.9 billion euros.
The energy giant has until September 30 to respond to the proposal.
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