By Olivia Bugault

 

Veolia Environnement SA said Sunday that it won't launch a hostile takeover for Suez SA after buying Engie SA's stake in the water-and-waste management company, and that Suez's board of directors would have to agree to any public takeover bid.

"Following constructive discussions with the management of the Suez group since October 1, and as confirmed today to Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, Chairman of the Board of Engie, Veolia group announces that it unconditionally commits not to file a hostile takeover bid following the sale of the shares held by Engie in Suez," the French utility group said.

However, Suez hit back later Sunday, saying that it still sees its rival's intentions as hostile. Suez said that discussions with Veolia failed and that its statement was 'misleading.' Suez disclosed a letter from its chairman Philippe Varin to Veolia's chief executive officer Antoine Frerot where Mr. Varin says that Suez still considers Veolia's intention to buy a 29.9% stake in Suez from Engie SA hostile.

The two companies have been fighting for weeks following Veolia's announcement in late August that it intends to buy a stake in Suez, which would be a first step before taking full control of the company.

 

Write to Olivia Bugault at olivia.bugault@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 05, 2020 02:45 ET (06:45 GMT)

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