Exchange listing for SITA UK parent group
22 July 2008
Positive sentiment for companies operating in the environment sector helped spur a rise in value this morning (July 22) for shares in the newly-listed Suez Environnement group which owns waste management firm SITA UK.
Shares were issued in Paris on Euronext, the French stock exchange, at 14 Euros and within an hour of listing had reached 19 Euros.
The launch today comes following the divestment of Suez Environnement from parent GDF Suez which was formed recently by the merger of Suez with Gaz de France. The new company, in which GDF Suez has a 35% share, will operate in the water and waste sectors - in 2007 it handled 42 million tonnes of waste.
Analysts in France said that the development would see stronger competition between the two French waste and environment giants Suez and Veolia.
The share listing was accompanied by a blaze of publicity for Suez Environnement's new logo, with the parent company's wording placed in a lime green circle and SITA now having an orange background for its logo.
A rebranding programme starts immediately and is to be accompanied by national media advertising, principally in France. The advertising will have the signature "making the planet sustainable is the best job on earth".
Commenting on what the share listing meant for the new business, past Suez chairman and now chairman of Suez Environnement, Gerald Mestrallet, said: "We have a lot of ambition for Suez Environnement. Our conviction is that this is at the right time, the world is changing. Our belief is that this is at the heart of the way the 21st century is developing.
"The 21st century is fundamentally different to the 20th century because of global warming, considerable urban population growth and huge pressure on resources. This will make Suez Environnement one of the key players of the 21st century," he added.
The chief executive of the new company is Jean-Louis Chaussaude, who has spent his entire career at Suez Environnement.
Mr Chaussaude told letsrecycle.com that SITA UK was very important to Suez Environnement. He said: "The UK is a very important country for Suez Environnement mainly in the waste business. SITA UK's turnover is one billion Euros and out of our turnover of 12 billion, this is very important."
In terms of future development in the UK, Mr Chaussaude said that this will be "through organic growth plus certain acquisitions - we will follow the way of doing things with acquisitions such as Easco."
He added: "What we want to be is the master of the full waste cycle - collection, sorting, and recycling and energy recovery of materials. We want to be in the full cycle and manage all the waste."
At the Euronext stock exchange today, its chief executive Jean-Francois Theodore, was enthusiastic about the new share listing. He told letsrecycle.com that the placing looked very positive. "We have seen an increase of more than 20% in value."
He said that GDF Suez was now the second largest company on the exchange, behind Total. He added that Suez Environnement could be seen as being in the "upper middle" sector of Euronext.
Information released about Suez Environnement confirmed its substantial position in the waste sector, especially in energy from waste. The company has 47 incinerators worldwide, 46 of these recover energy.
One suggestion from the company was that in some parts of the world it is now proving harder for the private sector to run water services, because they are seen as essentially a pubic service, whereas there may be more acceptance of companies operating in the waste sector.