Veolia Sells Water Business in Portugal to Beijing Enterprises

Veolia Environnement, Europe’s biggest water company, sold its water and wastewater business in Portugal to Beijing Enterprises Water Group Ltd. for 95 million euros ($121 million) to help cut debt.

The utility announced the divestment of subsidiary Veolia Water’s CGEP operations that hold four concessionary contracts for public water and wastewater services and serves 270,000 people mainly in northern Portugal today in a statement. The proceeds will go fully to the group’s debt-reduction program.

Veolia announced plans this month to cut 10 percent of the jobs at its French water division. Chief Executive Officer Antoine Frerot is more than halfway into a two-year plan to curtail debt and scale back global operations. Paris-based Veolia sold 3.7 billion euros of assets in 2012 and expects to expand that to 6 billion euros with this year’s divestments.

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