France's GDF Suez, Suez Environnement deny report of stake swap deal with Spain's La Caixa

PARIS Sun May 4, 2014 10:17am EDT

PARIS May 4 (Reuters) - French utility GDF Suez and environmental services firm Suez Environnement on Sunday denied a report of a stake swap deal where Spanish group La Caixa would take a stake in Suez Environnement, replacing lead shareholder GDF Suez.

In exchange, Suez Environnement would buy out La Caixa's minority stake in its 75 percent-owned Spanish water unit Aguas de Barcelona (Agbar), French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD) reported, citing anonymous sources.

Agbar has extensive operations in Latin America.

JDD said Suez Environnement was expecting the exit of its lead shareholder GDF Suez, which has a 36 percent stake, by the end of this year. The paper also said banks Nomura and Credit Agricole had studied the sale of a block of 10 to 15 percent of Suez Environnement stock.

Both GDF Suez and Suez Environnement denied the JDD report to Reuters, saying there were no talks and no deal of this kind was being considered.

In July 2013, GDF Suez let a 2008 shareholders control pact of Suez Environnement shareholders expire. Since then, there have been several reports of a sale, which have sometimes had an impact on share prices.

However, both companies have consistently denied all reports about a possible transaction. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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