UPDATE 1-BNP, Natixis offer for utility Saur 90-pct approved

Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:28pm EDT

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* Final agreement depends on shareholders

* Deadline for deal is June 30 (Adds detail on shareholders)

PARIS, June 14 (Reuters) - A buy-out offer from BNP Paribas and Natixis for water and waste treatment company Saur has been approved by 90 percent of its lenders, a spokesman for the lenders said on Friday.

The banks needed approval of at least two thirds of the compnay's creditors.

"Ninety percent of senior and junior lenders have approved the plan," a spokesman for lenders' committee CoCom said.

Saur, burdened by 1.8 billion euros ($2.3 billion) of debt, is trying to negotiate a restructuring with its lenders and shareholders before June 30, after which the firm risks being put under a court-sanctioned reorganisation scheme.

To reach a final agreement, the banks' offer will have to be submitted to and approved by shareholders, but a source close to the compnay said Saur management's support for the officer should help convince shareholders.

Sources close to the talks told Reuters earlier this week that Saur's lenders are willing to cut the firm's debt to 900 million euros in exchange for full ownership of the firm.

Saur's main creditors are represented by a lenders' committee including BNP Paribas, Royal Bank of Scotland and Natixis.

The firm's debt stems from a 2007 leveraged buyout by waste treatment company Seche Environnement, French state bank Caisse des Depots and AXA Private Equity.

Following the creation of FSI in 2008 and a restructuring of the French state holdings in Saur, FSI now owns 38 percent of Saur's capital.

The other shareholders are Seche Environnement with 33 percent, Axa Private Equity with 17 percent and infrastructure fund Cube with 12 percent.

A rival of France's Veolia Environnement VIE.PA and Suez Environnement SEVI.PA, Saur is facing pressure on its earnings due to the economic slowdown, which has hit the waste and environmental services sectors.

This has made it difficult to service its debt, a portion of which needs to be refinanced by 2014. Saur had 2012 revenue of 1.7 billion euros.

In April, Saur received four offers to restructure its debt, from the creditors' consortium, from shareholders Seche Environnement and Cube, and from entrepreneur Jacques Veyrat - offers which are still on the table (Reporting by Matthieu Protard; writing by Michel Rose; editing by Geert De Clercq)

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