PARIS, Oct 1 (Reuters) - France’s Suez, which opposes a takeover bid from rival Veolia, said on Thursday it backs a plan by private equity group Ardian to bid for the water and waste management firm.
“Both Suez’s board of directors and its employee shareholders confirm their support for the letter of intent issued and made public today by Ardian...for the acquisition of a 29.9% stake of Engie’s shares in Suez, and the all-cash takeover bid that would immediately follow for all Suez shareholders, under the same treatment conditions,” Suez said in a statement.
Ardian said earlier it wanted to set up a consortium of private and public institutional investors, predominantly French, to buy the Suez stake and launch a friendly offer.
Engie on Wednesday moved closer to selling its 29.9% stake in Suez to Veolia, as it welcomed a sweetened 3.4 billion euro offer ($4 billion) and obtained extra time to seal the deal.
Suez said it was taking note of that statement, “particularly the details of Veolia’s offer extension through to Oct. 5”.
“Suez continues to actively work within that framework and with the spirit of open dialogue that France’s minister of the economy, finance and the recovery has called for,” it said.
Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Jason Neely
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