Suez board classifies Veolia bid as hostile

Suez board classifies Veolia bid as hostile

French company’s board of directors calls Veolia takeover offer “against the best interests” of shareholders and customers.

September 11, 2020

The board of directors of France-based environmental services firm Suez says it has reviewed the takeover bid being made by fellow French company Veolia and has labeled it a “hostile approach” that is “against the best interests of Suez and all its stakeholders, and in particular its shareholders, its employees and its clients.”

In a news release issued by Suez, the company says its board has concluded that “the overall structure of the transaction contemplated by Veolia is questionable and exposes Suez and its shareholders to a long period of disruption for the group, with a risk of a takeover on an unacceptable basis.” Adds Suez “Veolia’s takeover project comes with major antitrust and regulatory issues in France and abroad.”

The Suez board, which says it “affirms its full support to the management team,” also is reviewing the company’s progress on the Suez 2030 plan, and “unanimously reiterates its full support for Suez’s standalone strategic plan and the management team delivering this highly value-creative plan.”

The board describes the Suez 2030 plan as reinforcing the company’s status as “a global leader in environmental services” that positions the company as “an agile, innovative and highly technological company. The plan, says the board, “is endorsed by clients, municipalities and employees.”

Veolia and Suez are the largest providers of waste and recycling collection services in France, and each also processes and trades significant volumes of recyclable materials in France and the rest of Europe. Both companies also have environmental services footprints that extend to Africa, Asia and the Americas.