Activist Shareholder Urges Engie to Accept Veolia's Suez Bid
By Joshua Kirby
Engie SA shareholder Amber Capital on Tuesday encouraged the
French energy company to accept Veolia Environnement SA's approach
for its stake in Suez SA, arguing that the disposal was a good
opportunity and raising concerns over the methods employed by
In a letter to Engie's board of directors, Amber Capital
recognized the need to correctly value Engie's stake in the
waste-management company, and to ensure that concerns around job
security are addressed, but said the approach was a unique
opportunity to create value for Engie and its shareholders.
Veolia is set to submit by Wednesday what its Chief Executive
Antoine Frerot has called an "improved offer", after Engie rebuffed
an initial bid of 2.91 billion euros ($3.43 billion) for a 29.9%
stake in Suez.
Amber said in the letter that it was urgent Engie take this
opportunity, noting that disposal of Suez would be a positive
milestone in the energy company's strategy, announced in July, to
refocus on renewables and infrastructure.
"The proceeds from this disposal would allow Engie to finance
its development projects," Amber said,
The asset-management firm added that Suez's management was not
serving the interests of shareholders well. "We are deeply
concerned by the hostile methods used by the management of Suez,
consisting in integrating its Suez Water France activities into a
Dutch Foundation to attempt to block the merger, and doing so
without consulting its shareholders," Amber said.
Amber added that postponing the decision over Veolia's approach
would constitute a major strategic error.
Write to Joshua Kirby at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 29, 2020 06:01 ET (10:01 GMT)
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