French govt will not be pressured on Veolia bid for Suez: Le Maire

FILE PHOTO: Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of the Economy, Finance, and Recovery, wearing a protective face mask, speaks during a news conference to present French government 2021 budget following the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, September 28, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - The French state will not yield to any pressure over Veolia's VIE.PA bid for smaller rival Suez SEVI.PA, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday.

“I want us to take the time necessary,” Le Maire told France Inter radio. “The state will not give in to any pressure.”

Veolia is due to improve its 2.9 billion euros ($3.4 billion) bid to buy the bulk of Engie’s stake in smaller rival Suez by Sept. 30.

Utility Engie owns almost 32% of Suez and the French state holds a 23.6% stake in Engie.

Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten and Matthieu Protard; editing by Jason Neely