Seche Environnement Sells Saur Shares to Banks Before Debt Deal

Seche Environnement SA sold its shares in the holding company of Saur SAS, a French water provider, after its attempts to help restructure the business were rejected.

Seche Environnement, a waste handler, decided to sell its 33 percent share in the company after other stakeholders rejected its offer to develop Saur as part of its debt restructuring, according to a statement circulated by Business Wire. A consortium of banks bought the shares for a “symbolic price” after they turned down a request from Seche to join them as a minority partner on their proposal.

Seche Environnement, based in Change, France, acquired its holding as part of a 1.7 billion-euro acquisition of the business in 2007. Saur’s holding company then raised 1.9 billion euros of loans, most of which are due to repay next year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Seche Environnement said the sale would have no impact on its financial statements after it made provisions in 2012.

Olivier Brousse, Saur’s Executive Chairman, told France’s BFM Business radio on June 7 that banks including BNP Paribas SA and Natixis may forgive about 1 billion euros of its debt in exchange for Saur’s capital. All but one of Saur’s 63 lenders had agreed to a deal, Les Echos reported yesterday, without citing anyone.

Saur’s other shareholders are Fonds Strategique d’Investissement, France’s strategic investment fund, as well as Axa SA and Cube Infrastructure Fund, according to the company’s website.

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