Suez Environnement Buys Process Group as It Pushes Into Oil, Gas

Suez Environnement (SEV), Europe’s second-biggest water utility, acquired Process Group as part of a push for more contracts in the oil and gas industry.

Process designs and develops equipment that can treat water, gases and sand, Suez said in a statement which didn’t give a price for the translation. Process, based in Melbourne, Australia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, has annual sales of about 60 million euros and customers include Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Chevron Corp. (CVX)

The purchase will reinforce expertise in the upstream and downstream oil and gas industry, one of the utility’s “key targeted sectors,” according to Suez.

Suez Environnment, which is based outside Paris, and larger rival Veolia Environnement SA (VIE) have suffered in recent years from falling demand for industrial-waste collection as factories in Europe reduced output amid the region’s economic crisis. They are both seeking to rely more heavily on contracts with industry rather than municipalities.

Suez Environnement has a “wish list” of possible targets for acquisitions and the company has the financial flexibility to carry them out, Chief Financial Officer Jean-Marc Boursier said in an interview in February.

The utility would prefer businesses outside Europe, new types of water services instead of concessions and industrial rather than municipal activities, Boursier said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tara Patel in Paris at tpatel2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net Ana Monteiro, John Viljoen

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