French state bank eyes control of Veolia Transdev: reports
PARIS (Reuters) - French state-owned bank Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC) is considering a bid for control of transport firm Veolia Transdev after blocking the sale of partner Veolia Environnement's (VIE.PA) stake, two newspapers reported.
Veolia Environnement put up for sale its 50 percent stake in Veolia Transdev in December as part of a plan to shed 5 billion euros ($6.3 billion) in assets in order to cut debt and costs.
The utility has since announced exclusive talks with a potential buyer, which media reports have said is infrastructure fund Cube, owned by investment bank Natixis (CNAT.PA).
French dailies Le Monde and Le Figaro said on Saturday that CDC had vetoed a bid by Cube as too low and because the fund planned to sell Veolia Transdev's international operations.
Le Monde, which did not cite its sources, said Cube had offered 550 million euros to cover the acquisition of 45 percent of Veolia Transdev and a participation in a capital increase.
Le Figaro, citing a source close to the matter, said talks with Cube were continuing, but added that CDC was also considering raising its stake to 60 percent of Veolia Transdev.
A spokeswoman for Veolia Environnement declined to comment, while no-one at the CDC was available for comment.
($1 = 0.7921 euros)
(Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey; writing by Gus Trompiz; Editing by John Stonestreet)
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