EDF Denies Power Generator Considering Saur Takeover

Electricite de France SA, Europe’s biggest power generator, denied it’s considering a takeover of the French water utility Saur with Seche Environnement SA.

There is “no plan being studied” for a takeover, EDF spokeswoman Carole Trivi said by telephone. She was responding to a report published in Le Monde today that Seche wants to join forces with the nuclear operator to take control of Saur, France’s third-largest water and waste company.

Seche Environnement Chief Executive Officer Joel Seche has long sought to gain a majority stake in Saur, increasing his holding from the 33 percent currently held. Saur’s other shareholders include the investment fund FSI with 38 percent, Axa Private Equity with 17 percent and Cube Infrastructure Fund with 12 percent, according to its website.

Seche is trying to convince EDF Chief Executive Officer Henri Proglio to enter into a “longterm partnership” with Seche Environnement to take over Saur, Le Monde reported, citing a letter from Seche to Proglio.

The report came after Le Figaro yesterday said that three banks holding 53 percent of Saur’s 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion) of debt want to control 100 percent of the company’s holding company Hime.

Representatives of Seche and Saur couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.

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