Veolia, EDF in Talks to Share Investment in Dalkia International

Veolia Environnement SA and Electricite de France SA, locked in a dispute over their energy-services business Dalkia, are in talks on sharing investment in the venture to better reflect their holdings.

Veolia, which currently funds all the spending of Dalkia’s international unit, has called on equal owner EDF to contribute to 500 million euros ($668 million) of necessary investment, Dalkia Chairman Franck Lacroix said today in Paris. “EDF has refused all change in this financing,” he said.

Veolia and EDF have long fought over control of Paris-based Dalkia, whose international division is split equally by the two utilities. EDF has so far not helped to fund the unit, focusing its efforts instead on boosting its shareholding in French parent Dalkia SAS, where it holds only 34 percent.

EDF sued Veolia in October, saying a 2000 agreement allowed for 50:50 control at Dalkia SAS. Veolia dismissed the claim as without merit.

Dalkia has contracts for heating and cooling office buildings and hospitals. Le Figaro newspaper said in December that Dalkia’s international unit faced a liquidity crisis because of the spat between its two owners.

Carole Trivi, a spokeswoman for EDF in Paris, declined to comment when telephoned today.

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