CMA allows Suez more time for Veolia deal paperwork

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued a notice of extension to waste management company Suez, allowing it more time to comply with the investigation into Veolia’s proposed takeover of the company.

Suez has been granted additional time to provide the CMA with documents (picture: Shutterstock)

The CMA issued the notice on 7 January 2022 explaining that Suez, “whether with or without a reasonable excuse” has failed to comply with the requirements of the section 109 notice”.

On the European continent, the European Commission has approved the acquisition of Suez by Veolia, both of which are Paris headquartered businesses with significant operations in the UK. However, the UK situation for the two companies remains unresolved.

Section 109

Section 109 notices are used by the UK’s CMA to make a formal request to provide information or documents or to give evidence as a witness.

The CMA had issued the notice to Suez on 21 December, requiring the company “to provide the documents and information specified in the section 109 notice by a specified date”.

On 6 January, the CMA’s inquiry group decided that the reference period “should be extended until Suez complies with the requirements of the section 109 notice, or the CMA publishes its decision to cancel the extension”.

‘Work closely’

In a statement given to letsrecycle.com, John Scanlon, chief executive officer for SUEZ recycling and recovery UK said: ‘We continue to work closely with the CMA to provide it with all the information it needs for its investigation, and to make sure that information is accurate and comprehensive.

Veolia Suez
John Scanlon, CEO of Suez recycling and Recovery UK

“We have needed some additional time to fully answer some of the questions raised shortly before the Christmas break”.

Probe

The notice comes as the CMA is stepping up its investigation into Veolia’s proposed takeover of the company.

The competition body has specifically outlined a number of areas it has concerns about, including the supply of waste incineration services at local level in the Teesside, Wilton 11, Marchwood, and Kemsley local areas. A full list can be seen at the end of this article.

As currently proposed, the purchase would see all of Suez’s operations in the UK transfer over to Veolia.

On 21 December, the CMA announced it would progress it’s probe into the deal to a more in-depth phase 2 investigation (see letsrecycle.com story).

The CMA said it was informed on 14 December that Veolia would not offer concessions in order to address competition concerns.

The CMA also appointed the inquiry group, which will be chaired by the economist Stuart McIntosh. Other members include Susan Hankey, Frances McLeman and David Thomas.

Competition

The CMA has also laid out specifics elements of the deal which it has concerns about, including council contracts and energy from waste.

The areas of concern are:

  • The supply of complex waste management contracts procured by local authorities in the UK
  • The supply of non-hazardous commercial and industrial waste collection services in the UK
  • The supply of non-hazardous municipal waste collection services in the UK
  • The supply of services for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of local authority-owned energy recovery facilities in the UK
  • The supply of non-hazardous waste incineration services at local level in the Teesside, Wilton 11, Marchwood, and Kemsley local areas
  • The supply of organic waste composting services at open-windrow composting facilities at local level in the Coven and Packington local areas

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