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Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Veolia Environnement SA, the biggest water company, gave up control of its Transdev transportation unit to French state-owned bank Caisse des Depots & Consignations as part of an asset disposal plan.

CDC, which already owns 50 percent of Veolia Transdev, will increase its shareholding to 60 percent following an 800 million-euro ($1.04 billion) capital increase by conversion of shareholder loans, according to a statement today.

“For Veolia Environment, this project would represent a first step in its progressive withdrawal from transportation activities,” the Paris-based company said in the statement.

Veolia will retain a 40 percent stake in Transdev and will acquire the 66 percent stake the transportation unit has in the Societe Nationale Corse Mediterranee ferry company and its subsidiaries. A final agreement has yet to be reached between the two sides.

The deal will allow Veolia to remove 900 million euros of debt from its balance sheet and won’t bring in any cash for the company, Les Echos reported earlier today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Roxana Zega in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at

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