Paris (AFP)

Suez scored a point Thursday in its legal war with Veolia, in a file concerning a legal assembly intended to thwart the project of its great rival to buy it.

Veolia, launched in a takeover bid on its rival, denounces the establishment in September by Suez of a foundation under Dutch law intended to oversee its Water France activities in order to prevent its sale.

The Nanterre Commercial Court issued an order on November 19, following an appeal from Veolia, urgently and pending an adversarial debate, to prohibit Suez from making this foundation irrevocable until the holding of the next general meeting of the group's shareholders.

In a new decision Thursday, consulted by AFP, the court "retracts" this decision, after the holding of the contradictory debate.

The framework of the foundation "remains, at the time of the request and of the contested order, a threat whose immediate implementation or, at least in the short term, is not sufficiently established to call for urgent measures intended to suspend this irrevocability ", justifies the court.

Veolia is ordered to pay Suez 30,000 euros and each of its social committees 2,000 euros.

Suez took "note of this favorable court decision".

"The creation of the foundation was intended to protect the interests of shareholders, employees, customers and other stakeholders. It has done so for 5 months and this tool, respectful of legal provisions, has already enabled an improvement of the terms. of Veolia's offer, "says the group.

"This Dutch foundation, by its existence protects the social and patrimonial interests of the Suez group", welcomes in a press release the intersyndicale of the water giant.

This asks the board of directors of Suez "to make this Foundation irrevocable as soon as possible if no negotiations begin between Suez and Veolia or if during these negotiations the entire scope of activities in France is not not kept ".

Other conditions relating to the maintenance of employment and social guarantees, the autonomy and independence of Suez or even real competition in France and outside are also included.

Veolia did not react immediately.

The water and waste giant acquired 29.9% of Suez from Engie, and launched a takeover bid on the rest of the shares.

This battle between the two groups is punctuated by numerous legal remedies.

© 2021 AFP