BRUSSELS/PARIS (Reuters) – French waste and water management companies Veolia and Suez will seek EU antitrust approval this month for their tie-up to create a national champion better able to compete with Chinese rivals, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.
Another source close to the matter, however, said an EU filing could come in the second half of October. The European Commission typically requires a massive amount of information on complex deals which could delay companies’ filing plans.
Veolia and Suez announced the deal, worth nearly 13 billion euros ($15.4 billion), in April after a months-long spat.
They have already tried to address EU competition concerns by spinning off Suez’s French water activities and some international assets, including in Italy, the Czech Republic, India and Australia into a new entity called New Suez.
The main shareholders of New Suez are Meridiam, Ardian and Global Infrastructure Partners, as well as state-backed Caisse des Depots and employees.
The move and other possible minor asset sales could help Veolia and Suez secure the green light from the European Commission following its preliminary review, the person said.
The deal has already won U.S. antitrust clearance.
($1 = 0.8427 euros)
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, additional reporting by Sarah White in Paris; Editing by Marguerita Choy)