Suez Board Supports Ardian's Decision Not to Submit Offer, Still Considers Veolia's Approach Hostile -- Update
By Olivia Bugault
-Suez's board has said that it still sees Veolia's approach for
it as hostile
-Ardian said won't submit an offer for a stake in Suez in order
to allow time for discussions
-Veolia said Sunday that it won't launch a hostile takeover bid
Suez SA's board of directors confirmed on Monday that it still
considers Veolia Environnement SA's approach to be hostile, but
agrees with private-equity firm Ardian's decision not to make an
offer for a stake in the water and waste-management company.
Veolia said in late August that it intended to buy a 29.9% stake
in Suez held by Engie SA, which would be a first step before taking
full control of the company. Suez rejected the bid and has been in
a dispute with rival utility company Veolia since then.
"In order to preserve the interest of all its shareholders and
stakeholders, the board confirms that it will put all the means at
its disposal to avoid a creeping takeover or de facto control,"
Suez's board reiterated its view on Veolia's approach after
Veolia said Sunday that "it unconditionally commits not to file a
hostile takeover bid following the sale of the shares held by Engie
In Monday's statement, Suez criticized Engie's board for not
taking into consideration and discussing an option other than
Last week, Engie's board welcomed Veolia's improved bid of 18
euros ($21.09) a share for a 29.9% stake in Suez held by the
company. Veolia initially proposed a bid of EUR15.50 a share.
"In the current climate, the board agrees with Ardian's decision
that it is not appropriate to make any offer to Engie," Suez said
French private-equity firm Ardian informed Engie of its interest
in buying the stake in Suez last week but said Monday that it won't
submit an offer for the moment.
"Following the expression of its interest, Ardian worked on an
offer supported by Suez employees and its board, and requiring six
weeks of due diligence," Ardian said Monday. "However, Ardian,
faithful to its principles of non hostile negotiations, has decided
not to submit an offer to allow time for ongoing discussions," it
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 05, 2020 10:14 ET (14:14 GMT)
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