GDF Suez unit gets EU approval to take water firms

BRUSSELS, Aug 5 (Reuters) - French water distribution firm Lyonnaise des Eaux, a unit of GDF Suez GSZ.PA won permission from the European Commission on Wednesday to acquire six firms active in water collection, treatment and supply in France.

Lyonnaise des Eaux (LDE) is to buy shares held by Veolia Eau-Compagnie Générale des Eaux (Veolia Eau) in six subsidiaries owned jointly with Veolia Eau VIE.PA.

The executive arm of the 27-nation European Union said in a statement that its investigation had revealed the proposed deal would not harm competition in the markets concerned.

LDE and Veolia Eau have decided to sell each other their holdings in nine joint subsidiaries which they control together. At the end of the proposed operation, LDE will take sole control of six of these companies, the Commission said.

The transaction would not raise competition concerns given the limited market shares of the companies to be acquired, the Commission said. (Reporting by Bate Felix)