EDF and Veolia Closer to Agreement on Split of Dalkia Assets

Electricite de France SA, the world’s biggest operator of nuclear reactors, and Veolia Environnement SA said they are near an agreement to split their Dalkia energy-services company.

EDF is in advanced talks to take control of Dalkia’s French activities and Veolia would acquire the international operations, the Paris-based companies said in a joint statement yesterday. Veolia would pay 550 million euros ($758 million) to EDF to make up the difference in value between the two stakes, according to the statement.

The transaction will allow EDF, which owns 34 percent of Dalkia, a bigger anchor in its home market for energy services. Veolia will gain momentum in its plan to expand in growth markets. Dalkia gets almost half its sales in France. The company, which has 49,800 employees in 35 countries, managed revenue last year of 8.9 billion euros, according to its website.

The completed transaction would end the litigation between EDF and Veolia pending before the Paris Commercial Court, according to the companies. EDF and Veolia’s boards of directors have met and approved the continuation of the talks.

Philippe Villin, a former chairman of the French unit of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. who now works independently, is advising both companies on the transaction. Credit Suisse Group AG provided a fairness opinion to EDF on the transaction.

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