French state holding firm head says not candidate for Veolia CEO

PARIS Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:37am EST

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PARIS Feb 25 (Reuters) - David Azema, the head of French state holding company APE, told Reuters on Tuesday he is not a candidate to become chief executive of water and waste group Veolia.

Earlier on Tuesday, French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said that Azema would have to appear before a government ethics commission, apparently indirectly confirming press reports about Azema's candidacy.

"I have received no firm request from the nominations committee of Veolia to occupy the function of chief executive. I am not a candidate for this position," Azema told Reuters, adding that therefore had not deposited a dossier with the ethics commission.

Earlier this month, a French magazine wrote that the Dassault family, the second-biggest shareholder in Veolia Environnement, was seeking to oust Chief Executive Antoine Frerot to replace him with Azema. (Reporting by Benjamin Mallet, writing by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Andrew Callus)