Veolia's second biggest shareholder Dassault exits board

PARIS Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:30pm EDT

View of the tribune during the annual shareholders' meeting of French utility group Veolia Environnement meeting in Paris May 7, 2010. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

View of the tribune during the annual shareholders' meeting of French utility group Veolia Environnement meeting in Paris May 7, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

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PARIS (Reuters) - French water and waste management group Veolia (VIE.PA) said on Friday its second biggest shareholder, Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault, had resigned from its board with immediate effect.

The Dassault family holding company, which owns roughly 6 percent of Veolia shares, is no longer director nor a member of the accounts and audit, nomination and compensation committees, Veolia said in a statement late on Friday.

A representative for the Dassault holding could not immediately be reached for comment. A press officer at France's state fund CDC, Veolia's largest shareholder with an 8.85 percent stake, had no immediate comment.

Veolia board members representing its top three shareholders - Dassault, the CDC and French insurer Groupama - had abstained from a vote to re-elect Chief Executive Antoine Frerot in February.

This followed weeks of talk of a boardroom coup in which Dassault was reportedly seeking to rally support from other board members to unseat the utility's boss.

Sources familiar with the world's biggest environmental services group have said some shareholders are unhappy with the pace of restructuring at Veolia, whose stock has fallen some 40 percent since Dassault bought its stake in 2008.

Frerot's re-election as CEO will be put to a shareholders' vote at the company's annual general meeting on April 24.

Veolia shares, which have risen more than 20 percent so far this year, closed up 1.57 percent at 14.54 euros on Friday, giving the company a market share of close to 8 billion euros.

(Reporting by Natalie Huet and Jean-Michel Belot; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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