Suez Environnement Denies Veolia Merger Under Consideration

Suez Environnement (SEV), Europe’s second- biggest water company, denied that it is working on a merger with its bigger rival Veolia (VIE) Environnement SA.

The Paris-based company, in a statement posted on its website yesterday, denied that it is “working on a business combination with Veolia.” Veolia, also based in Paris, said in a BusinessWire statement that “following market rumors, a merger with Suez Environnement is not on the agenda.”

The Wall Street Journal reported on its website yesterday that Suez had approached Veolia about a merger and that talks never reached the boards of the companies, citing three people familiar with the situation.

Such a deal would have created a water and waste utility company with a market value of more than $11 billion, the Journal said.

Veolia, the biggest water company, has a market value of 4.4 billion euros ($5.7 billion), while Suez is valued at 4.3 billion euros.

A merger between the two companies is impossible as it would create a monopoly with 90 percent of the water market in France, Le Journal du Dimanche reported today.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Bain in Mexico City at bbain2@bloomberg.net; Andrew Roberts in Paris at aroberts36@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sylvia Wier in New York at swier@bloomberg.net

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