The French water and waste giant Suez strikes back. As it seeks to escape a hostile takeover by its competitor Veolia, the group “disputes the validity of the public offer filing” with the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the stock market policeman, he said Monday, February 8 in a press release. Suez “will contest the publication by the AMF of a public offer filing notice, despite this enforceable court decision”, and asserts that he “will not be able to act on the filing notice published by the AMF”.
After the purchase of 29.9% of its French competitor, in October, Veolia has decided to launch a takeover bid at a price of 18 euros per share, on the 70.1% of the capital that it does not hold, i.e. a transaction for an amount of 7.9 billion euros in cash. This initiative was interrupted on Monday morning by the Nanterre commercial court, which was seized Sunday evening by Suez. He ordered Veolia to suspend the launch of this takeover bid pending a substantive debate on its previous friendly commitments.
In an increasingly sustained and competitive global market, Veolia wants to create a “French super champion” sector, a “project in the interest of the nation”, according to its CEO Antoine Frérot. For his part, the Managing Director of Suez, Bertrand Camus, this takeover would be “an alchemy in reverse, to transform gold into lead”.
“This operation [de Veolia] can only be successful if she is friendly. This offer is not and raises questions of transparency, estimated Monday, on Europe 1, the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire. We are going to refer to the Autorité des marchés financiers “, he also warned.