Suez-Veolia Merger: Seizures from Stakeholders in the File

Bailiffs were dispatched Thursday to the headquarters of the protagonists of the merger project between Suez (SEV) and Veolia (VIE), after a request filed by Suez before the Nanterre commercial court, we learned from concordant sources.

The seizures took place Thursday morning at the headquarters of Engie, Veolia and Meridiam, respectively at La Defense, Aubervilliers and Place de l’Opera in Paris.

“Suez seized the commercial court of Nanterre to ask it to collect the elements allowing to specify the conditions, modalities and schedule of the actions taken upstream of the public announcements of Veolia”, explains the group in a press release.

These “seizures will be examined” to determine “if this operation is regular in all respects”, explained Jean Veil, lawyer for Suez.

Computer documents, writings… It is a question of finding, via a certain number of key words, “all elements of information likely to corroborate the suspicions” on a possible concealed concerted action or even the absence of competitive process in the ‘Suez buyout by its competitor Veolia, said Bruno Cavalié, also a lawyer for Suez.

Engie, which sold 29.9% of Suez to Veolia in early October, declined to comment on the intervention of these bailiffs. Meridiam, to whom Veolia intends to sell the Water France branch of Suez to comply with competition rules, confirmed their presence.

Veolia for its part referred to the intervention of two bailiffs and an IT expert, adding that it had “nothing to hide”.

Rejecting any idea of ​​a prior arrangement, Veolia said Suez management has long been aware of Engie’s intentions to sell its shares.

“Trying to justify today for not having taken Engie’s announcements seriously for a year, on the pretext that Veolia worked upstream of this announcement, does not change the fact that, for 4 weeks in the month of ‘August, some have developed a takeover bid that allows Suez to remain French and European, others have gone on vacation, ”said Veolia, targeting the management of Suez.

“We are almost four months after the announcement of the sale of Suez by Engie. And it is clear that four months have still not been enough for the president and the CEO of Suez to produce the beginning of the beginning of an alternative proposal to that of Veolia “, we add.

One month after the announcement by Engie of its wish to sell its shares in Suez, Veolia announced at the end of August its intention to buy them back and then to swallow all of its competitor via a takeover bid for the rest of the shares, in order to constitute “A great world champion”.

Since then, Suez has struggled, denouncing an unfair operation and carrying industrial breakage.

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