Paris (AFP)

The bosses involved in the takeover bid of Veolia on Suez each sent a letter to Suez staff on Tuesday, to assure them of their industrial ambitions for the future of the two groups specializing in water and waste.

The managers of Suez, Veolia and the consortium responsible for buying part of Suez's activities to create an entity initially focused on France, have given themselves until June 29 to formalize their agreement (precise perimeters, valuation, price ).

"Dear colleagues, by the end of 2021, around 45,000 of us will join Veolia subject to the finalization of its takeover bid, and 35,000 the new Suez", wrote to Suez employees their CEO Bertrand Camus, in a letter in 11 languages ​​consulted by AFP.

The distribution of activities has yet to be specified in detail, he told them.

"Some of you know clearly from today what your future group will be. For example WTS, Suez North America, UK, Spain… know that they will join Veolia. The Water and Waste activities in France, Lydec… know that 'they will join the new Suez. For others, the decision has not yet been taken. We are working so that the uncertainty lasts as short as possible and that everyone knows in September which will be their group, "he assures us. .

For Antoine Frérot, CEO of Veolia, "everyone will have their place" in the future "world champion of ecological transformation" that he wants to build, and he "invites" Suez employees to take part in the project "with enthusiasm and optimism".

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The agreement provides that on the day of the completion of Veolia's takeover bid for Suez, a consortium will immediately buy part of it from Veolia, to preserve a Suez focused on the water business.

"We are part of the direct thread of the exceptional history of Suez for more than 150 years. This history obliges us", assure Tuesday the "founding shareholders" of the "new Suez", the Meridiam and GIP infrastructure funds, the Caisse des Dépôts and CNP Assurances.

"Our common project will be carried out with a constant concern for social dialogue in line with the strong social commitments that we have extended to five years. We are also committed to opening up shareholding to employees with an initial objective of 3% and then up to to 10% of the capital within 7 years ".

Meridiam and GIP will each hold "at least 39% of the capital", with CDC and CNP completing the round.

Suez struggled for eight months to try to escape the takeover bid from Veolia, holder since October of 29.9% of its rival bought from the energy company Engie.

The duo ultimately found an agreement in mid-April, with Veolia absorbing around 60% of Suez.

© 2021 AFP