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UPDATE 2-France's Saur receives three debt-refinancing bids
April 4, 2013 / 5:17 PM / in 5 years

UPDATE 2-France's Saur receives three debt-refinancing bids

* Company looking to ease cost of 1.8 bln euros debt pile

* Saur has been valued at 800 mln-1 bln euros -Saur chairman

* Seche due to make a fourth offer on Friday

PARIS, April 4 (Reuters) - Water and waste treatment company Saur said on Thursday it had received three offers to refinance its debt as it tries to ease the cost of a 1.8 billion euros ($2.31 billion) debt pile.

The offers came from a consortium of lending banks - said to include BNP Paribas and Royal Bank of Scotland - a Natixis-led investment fund called Cube, and a holding company set up by the former head of Louis Dreyfus.

Commenting on the bids, Saur Executive Chairman Olivier Brousse told French daily Les Echos that the final decision would be taken this month and that the winning bid would be measured against independent valuations of Saur of between 800 million and 1 billion euros.

“At the moment, each of the three offers would keep a majority French shareholder structure in place and would inject necessary fresh capital of around 200 million euros,” Brousse said in an interview published on Les Echos’ website.

Rival waste company Seche Environnement, which owns a 33 percent stake in Saur, is due to put in its own proposal to restructure Saur’s finances on Friday, Saur said in a statement.

Relations have soured between Seche and other key Saur shareholders, including sovereign-wealth fund FSI and insurer AXA, for more than a year after a failed bid by Seche to take over the company.

French daily Le Monde reported last month that Seche had been looking to mount a fresh takeover bid with utility EDF for several weeks. An EDF spokeswoman said such a project was not on the agenda for the utility.

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