By Joshua Kirby

 

Veolia Environnement SA on Wednesday raised its offer for the majority of Engie SA's stake in waste-management company Suez SA, offering 3.4 billion euros ($3.99 billion) for 29.9% of Suez.

The EUR18-per-share offer represents an increase on the French resource-management company's previous offer of EUR15.50 a share for the stake in Suez. Engie holds around 32% of Suez.

Veolia's new bid includes a commitment to maintaining full employment at Suez in France. The company also said it would only launch a tender offer for the remaining 70.1% of Suez on a friendly basis.

Engie has been holding out for better terms. Chairman Jean-Pierre Clamadieu told a French National Assembly hearing Tuesday that the French energy company was confident Veolia was ready to offer necessary guarantees around jobs.

Veolia said it proposed a six-month period for the related parties to come to a deal.

Suez has been opposed to Veolia's approach, which it has characterized as hostile. It argues that the offer undervalues the company and risks antitrust issues and job cuts. But Suez itself has come under fire, with Mr. Clamadieu telling the National Assembly hearing he was disappointed with Suez management's refusal to cooperate regarding a new offer.

He also criticized Suez's decision to place its water division in the hands of a Dutch foundation last week, calling the move a "poison pill" and "a serious error of judgement."

 

Write to Joshua Kirby at joshua.kirby@dowjones.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 30, 2020 03:33 ET (07:33 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.