Véolia is trying to buy Suez.
ERIC PIERMONT, KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP
The CEO of Veolia said Friday that he intended to "improve" the price offer made to Engie to buy back its shares in its competitor Suez, himself opposed to this operation.
Antoine Frérot had offered at the end of August 2.9 billion euros (15.50 euros per share) to the energy giant for its 29.9% of shares in Suez.
He also said he was "confident" in his ability to successfully complete his takeover bid for the whole of Suez.
Engie's board of directors, which has until September 30 to respond to Veolia's proposal, meets this Friday at 5 p.m.
He will have on the table the “improved” offer from Veolia, said Antoine Frérot, who also insists on the improvements made in terms of social guarantees, with in particular a letter formalizing the group's commitments in terms of preserving all jobs with their social benefits.
If Engie accepts, Veolia intends to file a “takeover bid” a few days later to the address of the other Suez shareholders.
He hopes to complete the transaction within twelve to eighteen months, the time to obtain the approval of the competition authorities.
Veolia's project, which includes the sale of Suez's Water France activities to comply with anti-trust legislation, has however had a thorn in its side since Wednesday evening, since Suez placed its Water France branch under the hat of a foundation. intended to make it non-transferable.
"This poison pill is disabling for the project that I am carrying, and as long as it is not defused, it does not make it possible", admitted Antoine Frérot.
But "I did not say that it was unstoppable", he added, noting: "The lawyers are working.
The idea is to "find a way to defuse the foundation within eighteen months."
(…) I have very strong hope, I am persevering, ”he added.
“All avenues are possible, I don't have the precise answer to this question.
But I can tell you that I am the buyer of the 29.9% in these circumstances, I have enough confidence to buy them, ”hammered the CEO.
He also indicated that he would not sell the Water France branch of Veolia, instead of that of Suez.
“Because it's not my project, so it's like that.
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