France still trying to end Veolia, Suez dispute, says source By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: French parliament resumes plenary after summer break

PARIS (Reuters) – The French state is still trying to end disagreements between utilities Veolia and Suez days ahead of a deadline, a source close to Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday.

Veolia last month offered to pay energy group Engie 2.9 billion euros ($3.37 billion) for a 29.9% stake in Suez, with a view to subsequently taking full control of its rival by buying up more shares, a move Suez views as hostile.

Veolia’s offer remains valid until Sept. 30.

“There have been multiple conversations … The goal remains to find a middle ground and to end the conflict, the source told Reuters.

The French state holds a 23.6% stake in Engie and has tried to ease tensions. Engie, which owns almost 32% of Suez, rejected Veolia’s initial advance but has said it would consider a higher offer.

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