PARIS May 4 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)