Veolia ‘completes financing’ of Suez acquisition

Veolia has announced it has raised €2.5 billion (£2.12 billion) via its ‘capital increase scheme’, which the company says marks “a decisive step in the merger process with Suez”.

Veolia Suez
Both the EU and UK competition authorities are looking at the Veolia/Suez merger

Launched on 16 September, the capital increase scheme saw Veolia offer its shareholders a chance to buy shares in the company to raise capital for the acquisition.

In an announcement on Wednesday (06 October), Veolia said the operation was “oversubscribed with a subscription rate of around 175.4%” from its shareholders.

The gross amount of the capital increase with maintenance of preferential subscription rights, amounts to € 2,506,007,269.20.

This represents more than 110,000 new shares at a unit subscription price of €22.70.

I am pleased to announce the success of our capital increase, which completes the financing of the Suez acquisition– Antoine Frérot, chief executive of Veolia

‘Completes financing’

Antoine Frérot, chairman and CEO of Veolia, said the capital raise means the company has now completed the financing of the move for Suez.

“I am pleased to announce today the success of our €2.5 billion capital increase, which completes the financing of the Suez acquisition,” he explained.

Antoine Frérot, Veolia’s chairman and CEO

Mr Frérot added: “The vast majority of our shareholders have chosen to strengthen their investment in Veolia, thus demonstrating their confidence in our growth prospects in very buoyant environmental markets, and in the full success of the merger with Suez.

“I would like to thank our shareholders and all of our stakeholders for their loyalty and long-term support, and particularly since the launch of our historic project, which will give birth to the world champion of ecological transformation.”

Deal

After months of speculation, on 14 May Veolia agreed to acquire 70.1% of Suez at a price of €20.50 (£17.71) per share (see letsrecycle.com story).

Veolia had already acquired 29.9% of Suez from French utilities firm Engie in October 2020, as it looked to launch a tender offer for the rest of the company (see letsrecycle.com story).

Veolia hopes to complete the deal “by the end of 2021”, subject to competition clearance.

In the UK, the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) is continuing its investigation (see letsrecycle.com story).

The CMA issued an initial enforcement order on 1 February 2021 concerning Veolia’s UK operations. This was triggered by Paris-based Veolia’s acquisition of a 29.9% stake in its French counterpart Suez last year.

As part of the probe, it is believed the heads of the major waste companies in the UK have been written to ask their opinions on the deal.

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