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Veolia Goes Hostile in Attempt to Buy French Rival Suez

  • Company takes EU18-a-share offer direct to shareholders
  • Saga has gripped the French business world for several months.
First Working Day Of 2021 In Paris Financial District
Photographer: Nathan Laine/Bloomberg
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Veolia Environnement SA opened an aggressive front in a long-running attempt to buy French utility rival Suez SA, taking its offer directly to the company’s shareholders after months of being rebuffed by management.

In a statement late Sunday, Veolia expressed exasperation at the Suez board and said it will pay 18 euros a share for the 70.1% of the company it doesn’t already own. The proposed deal values its rival’s equity at 11.3 billion euros ($13.6 billion). Suez had net debt last year of about 10 billion euros.