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February 3, 2021

Veolia recovers shareholder rights on SUEZ stake following court decision

February 3rd, 2021 / A French court has ruled in favour of Veolia today and confirmed that the group immediately recovers the shareholder rights for its 29.9 per cent stake in SUEZ, paving the way to the creation of a world champion of ecological transformation.

The Nanterre Judicial Court ruled that information and consultation requests from SUEZ’s works councils regarding Veolia’s intended merger of the two groups were not justified at this stage of the project and that the suspension of shareholder rights relating to Veolia’s stake must be lifted.

Commenting on the news, Eric Haza, Chief Legal Officer, said: “We are pleased by the decision of the court that there were no grounds for the suspension of our shareholder rights on our stake in SUEZ. The recent legal actions initiated in connection with the information and consultation process were nothing more than a delaying tactic by SUEZ and we are pleased that this has now been recognized.”

Earlier this week the Veolia Board of Directors met and unanimously reaffirmed their refusal to sell or swap, directly or indirectly, the 29.9 per cent that Veolia owns in the capital of Suez.

With SUEZ’s annual general meeting approaching and Veolia’s merger project progressing, official dialogue with the SUEZ Board of Directors is expected soon covering the overall structure of the offer, the proposed perimeter of SUEZ’s remaining operations in France and potentially internationally as part of any antitrust related disposals. The parties would also cover the firm commitments for all SUEZ and Veolia staff, and the specific mechanisms to oversee them.

Antoine Frérot said: “Our draft proposal contains all of the key elements to assess our intentions and form the framework of the necessary discussions between our two companies for the benefit of our employees, our clients and our shareholders. The current context calls for the creation of a world leader with solid national and European roots in environment services, at a time when government representatives are all the more conscious of the importance of accelerating the development of strategic sectors in a recovering economy.”