Veolia is proposing a new solution that would see SUEZ France remain fully intact with strengthened future prospects, as it continues to work to move its merger forward in the best interest of all stakeholders.
Under the terms presented, SUEZ’s French water and waste activities, as well as its engineering-construction, digital and research activities, would remain part of a single entity supported by a leading long-term investor Meridiam, the reputable French infrastructure management company.
All jobs and social benefits would be guaranteed by Meridiam for at least four years for SUEZ France’s more than 25,000 employees, while Meridiam commits to providing stable ownership for at least 25 years and to double investment in future growth over the next five years.
The solution will maintain strong competition in France, benefiting SUEZ customers including local authorities. SUEZ will remain a strengthened and stabilized partner, while allowing the creation of a major French global champion of ecological transformation in Veolia.
The proposal will also accelerate the overall timing by considerably simplifying the European anti-trust process and reducing execution risk by preserving French entities from a split up.
Despite the cost to Veolia of the improved proposal’s reduced operational synergies, its offer of €18 per share remains on the table in order to reach a solution, subject only to the continued value destructive efforts by SUEZ leadership to dismantle the group by disposing of strategic assets, notably in Australia and the United Kingdom, which would therefore have a negative impact on SUEZ.
The announcement represents another step by Veolia to break the impasse created as a result of six months of opposition by SUEZ management, and to provide certainty for employees, trade unions, customers, shareholders and French authorities looking for a timely and orderly solution.
Veolia is once again reaching out to SUEZ leadership to open a dialogue. If the SUEZ board continues to meet this request with the same vigour and opposition tactics deployed since October, and refuses any discussion on a constructive basis, despite this significant proposal, Veolia invites all of SUEZ shareholders to stand ready to make their voice heard at the Group's upcoming general meeting.
Read the press release here – https://www.veolia.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/veolia-offering-suez-preserve-its-activities-france-within-same-group
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