* Final agreement depends on shareholders
* Deadline for deal is June 30
(Adds detail on shareholders)
PARIS, June 14 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
"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
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)