Veolia has ’17 of 18’ green lights for Suez deal

Veolia said it has achieved 17 of 18 ‘green lights’ for its takeover of Suez, with the final one from the UK’s competition and markets authority (CMA) “expected during the summer”.

Veolia is awaiting the final 'green light' from the UK's CMA for its takeover of Suez (Picture: Shutterstock)

And, the company added that its UK revenues have grown by 12.1% to €601 million (£514 million) in the first quarter of 2022.

This was driven by “high materials prices, higher electricity prices (85% of 2022 production hedged) and better EFW availability (97.54% vs. 95.11% in Q1 2021).

The update was provided in Veolia’s financial results for the first quarter of 2022 published this morning (12 May).

Merger

Today’s results also provided an update on the company’s takeover of Suez, which it said has been approved everywhere except the UK.

Veolia Suez, Veolia Suez
The merger process of Veolia and Suez is on hold in the UK while the CMA conducts its investigation

Veolia said the merger process is “progressing very well”, and Suez employees have joined progressively Veolia since 19 January.

The company added that UK and Water Technology Services (WTS) consolidated but still operationally held separate until green light obtained from the CMA in the UK.

The deal is currently under a phase 2 investigation from the CMA, which is expected in the summer. The competitions body has published concerns raised by local authorities about competition, concerns which Veolia say are unfounded (see letsrecycle.com story).

‘Same culture’

Antoine Frérot, Veolia’s chairman & CEO, said that 2022 has started “very well” for Veolia, despite the war in Ukraine and lockdowns in China.

He added that the main highlight has been the integration of Suez teams since 19 January.

“The ease of this integration confirmed our conviction: that Veolia and Suez employees share the same culture and have the same concern for performance and excellence in addressing ecological issues.

Veolia Suez
Antoine Frérot is Veolia’s chairman and CEO

“In terms of numbers, revenue growth obviously reflects the first-time consolidation of Suez assets, but also benefited fully from good trends in our markets and the many innovations and added-value offerings that we have developed for several years. Compared to the combined revenue of the new entity, the Group’s organic growth was particularly robust at +14.7%”.

Mr Frérot added: “Once again, Veolia has demonstrated the resilience, the adaptability and the dynamics of a great champion of ecological transformation. These very strong results enable us to confirm all our short and medium term objectives.”

Revenues

Globally, Veolia revenues have risen to €9.35 billion, as Suez assets have been integrated. Combined organic growth however was up 14.7%.

The recycled materials price impact reached +€135 million, and came from the increase of recycled paper and cardboard prices in France, Germany and the UK.

Veolia Suez
Increased cardboard prices have led to increased revenues in the UK for Veolia

In Northern Europe, revenue reached €1.21 billion, up 12.5%.

Veolia said this progression “is mostly attributable to the UK and Ireland, up up 11.3 % at constant scope and exchange rates due to increased energy prices and volumes, higher recycled materials prices (paper and plastics), and a very good waste-to-energy performance”.

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