The water and waste group Suez rejected a hostile offer from its rival Veolia, calling it “opportunistic”, as the bitter conflict between the two French companies deepened.
Contestants have been locked in a battle since the takeover attempt began late last summer, arguing in public and dragging each other onto the courts.
Veolia bought a 29.9% stake in Suez from Engie in October, adding that it wanted to acquire the rest of the group. Although he tried to convince Suez’s board of directors, he eventually turned hostile in February with his € 18 per share offer. The offer values Suez at more greater than € 11 billion, excluding debt.
In its formal rejection of the offer on Friday, Suez said it undervalued the company and warned Veolia’s plans risked seeing Suez dismantled and jobs at risk – claims Veolia denies.
Julian Waldron, CFO of Suez, told the Financial Times that its shareholders “look at the 2020 results. They look at the cash flow. They watch dividends. They watch what’s going on. . . to environmental stocks and they think € 18 is too low. “
Everyone in the public arena, government, etc. would like this story to be settled somehow
While it is not clear what level of supply would value Suez fairly, Waldron said Veolia’s offer was based on flawed assumptions and that the synergies benefits of a combination were …
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