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Suez Creates Agbar Venture to Manage Barcelona Waters

Suez Environnement, the second-biggest water company in Europe, created a joint venture through its Agbar unit to manage Barcelona’s water supplies and waste for the next 35 years.

The 3.5 billion-euro ($4.8 billion) contract, announced in part in July, will be handled via a venture with Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, according to today’s statement. Agbar will have an 85 percent stake and AMB the balance of a venture that will serve 24 municipalities including Barcelona.

The Paris-based company gained control of Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona SA in 2009 to expand in Spain, where the water market was growing faster than in France. Chief Executive Officer Jean-Louis Chaussade has said Spain’s economic slowdown since hasn’t stopped consumers from paying their bills.

The venture for the Catalan capital will be called Aguas de Barcelona and supply 3 million residents in Spain’s second-most populous city, according to today’s statement.

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