French public lender CDC says friendly Veolia/Suez deal is possible

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PARIS (Reuters) - A friendly deal between French utilities Veolia VIE.PA and Suez SEVI.PA may be possible, the head of French public lender CDC said on Monday, adding the creation of a "national champion" would be a "good thing".

On Sunday, the head of Suez dismissed an offer by water and waste management rival Veolia to buy a stake as “disastrous” for France.

“The creation of a national champion seems a good thing in our view (...) It is possible that a friendly deal is in the works,” Eric Lombard said during a press conference.

CDC holds a 5.7% stake in Veolia and a 1.5% stake in Suez.

Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; Writing by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Jan Harvey