Veolia and Suez get the green light from the EU for a $ 14.7 billion deal

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BRUSSELS, December 14 (Reuters) – French waste and water management companies Veolia (VIE.PA) and Suez (SEVI.PA) on Tuesday obtained EU antitrust approval for their 13 billion merger euros ($ 14.7 billion) to create a global group capable of better competing with its Chinese rivals.

The deal reached in April was marked by a bitter dispute lasting several months, including a lawsuit and a decision by Suez to separate its French water business from Veolia, although this was later dropped after the companies have reached an agreement.

Reuters exclusively reported last week that the deal would receive EU approval. Read more

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The European Commission has said that a broad package of asset sales addresses all of its concerns about the deal.

“The Commission guarantees that this transaction will not adversely affect competition in the water and waste markets, two sectors which are essential to the European Green Deal and the circular economy”, said the European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager in a press release.

The remedies proposed by the companies include the sale of the French water and waste activities of Suez and of certain international assets in a new entity called New Suez, whose shareholders are Meridiam and Global Infrastructure Partners, Caisse des Dépôts and CNP Assurances (CNPP.PA).

Veolia will also sell most of its industrial water treatment assets in France and its mobile water services activities in Europe. Suez, for its part, will sell all of its assets in the treatment of hazardous industrial waste.

The two companies will also sell part of their hazardous waste landfill operations.

($ 1 = € 0.8843)

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Reporting by Foo Yun Chee Editing by David Goodman

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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