After ordering Veolia to suspend its takeover bid (takeover bid) on Suez on February 8, the Nanterre commercial court finally declared itself on Tuesday February 23 incompetent in this case and referred it to the commercial court from Paris.
Veolia filed with the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) on February 8 a hostile takeover bid for the 70.1% of Suez capital that it does not own, for a total of 7.9 billion euros. The water and waste giant has already held 29.9% of its competitor’s capital since October, sold by Engie.
Seized urgently by Suez, the commercial court of Nanterre had the same day ordered Veolia to suspend the launch of any takeover bid against its competitor, pending a substantive debate relating to its previous commitments to“Friendliness”.
Veolia, for its part, argued that “Its registered office is domiciled within the jurisdiction of the Paris Commercial Court”, recalls the decision published Tuesday, which therefore retains this argument. Suez is also ordered to pay several thousand euros to its competitor and to Engie, for legal costs.
The takeover bid “is taking its course”, according to Veolia
“The delaying maneuvers of Suez have once again failed”, reacted in a Veolia press release, assuring that its takeover “Therefore followed its course”. Its Chairman and CEO, Antoine Frérot, “Wishes to present its merger project to all the directors of Suez in order to initiate a constructive dialogue with them”, continues the group.
In another statement, Suez took note of the court’s decision “For reasons of geographical competence”. “The court did not question the group’s arguments on the violation of the friendly commitment made by Veolia since October 2020. Suez is examining its options to assert its rights in this regard”, concludes the text.
The management of Suez is opposed to the merger project, which it believes is synonymous with social and industrial damage. The battle between the two French champions of the sector, which has been going on since the summer, is punctuated by numerous legal remedies.
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