Saturday, October 1

The Government authorizes Veolia’s investment in Suez with conditions

This decision comes after the European Commission gave the green light to the merger on December 14

The Council of Ministers approved this Tuesday with conditions the foreign investment by Veolia Environment in Spanish society Suez Spain, sole shareholder of Aguas de Barcelona (Agbar), according to the records of the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).

Sources of Ministry of Industry consulted by Europa Press explained that “the authorizations do not imply that the investment is carried out and it is considered information that only companies should give to safeguard their privacy”.

The decision of the Spanish Government comes after last December 14 the European Commission gave green light to merge of French water and waste management companies Veolia and Suez, an authorization that Brussels has conditioned on fulfillment of a series of concessions offered by Veolia to correct the competition problems initially detected.

The boards of directors de Veolia and Suez, owner of Agbar, reached last May a principle of agreement for the merger of both groups, after Veolia, the main shareholder of its competitor, accepted raise your takeover bid on the capital that it does not yet control of its rival, up to 20.50 euros per share, in a transaction of almost 13,000 million euros, which would give rise to a giant in the sector with annual revenues of around 37,000 million euros.

Between the terms set by the European Commission to clear the way for the merger between the two French companies highlights the assignment of almost all activities of Suez in the markets for regulated waste management and the municipal water in France, as well as the concession of almost all of Veolia’s activities in the market of mobile water services in the European Economic Area.

Likewise, Veolia is asked to transfer the vast majority of its activities in the French segment of the market for industrial water management and part of the operations of the two firms in the sector of dangerous residues.

In its investigation into the merger, agreed last May by the councils of both multinationals, the European Commission detected serious problems for the competition if the operation was consummated as it was originally planned, giving rise to a single market leader, both at a European, local and national level.

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Unlike Brussels, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of the United Kingdom determined last week that the merger between Veolia and Suez could lead to “a substantial decrease” in competition in the country, so it announced that it will proceed to submit the operation to an in-depth investigation, called ‘phase 2’.

The CMA’s decision came after the companies involved did not offer the British regulator any commitment to solve the problems for competition detected and about which they were warned on December 7 so that they could present proposals to correct said worries.

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