Waste water firm Veolia increases bid for stake in rival Suez

Firm raises offer for almost 30% holding in company owned by power group Engie to €3.4bn

Union members of Suez demonstrate against against Veolia’s takeover bid on which the company considers hostile. Photograph: Getty

Union members of Suez demonstrate against against Veolia’s takeover bid on which the company considers hostile. Photograph: Getty

 

French waste and water company Veolia hiked its bid for a stake in rival Suez on Wednesday and offered a negotiating window for any subsequent full takeover proposal after its initial approach was rebuffed.

Veolia said it had raised its offer for a 29.9 per cent stake in Suez held by power group Engie to €3.4 billion from €2.9 billion.

The company has been trying to persuade Engie to sell the stake as prelude to launching a full takeover bid for Suez, arguing the two would form a global waste and water champion better equipped to take on rivals, including from China.

But Suez has vehemently rejected the approach, describing it as hostile, and set about creating a foundation for its French water business, which could be a hurdle for any Veolia takeover.

Veolia on Wednesday piled the pressure on Engie to come to a swift decision by saying its new €18 per share offer – up from €15.50 previously – would expire by midnight. – Reuters

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