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Suez in talks to sell part of recycling unit to PreZero as Veolia circles

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PARIS, Sept 16 (Reuters) – French waste and water management company Suez is pressing ahead with asset sales as it works out a response to what it sees as a hostile bid from rival Veolia.

Suez said it was entering exclusive talks to sell for an enterprise value of 1.1 billion euros ($1.30 billion) its Recycling & Recovery operations – excluding plastic recycling and hazardous waste treatment activities – in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and Poland to PreZero, the environmental division of German retailer Schwarz Group.

“With this new announcement, Suez has now achieved around 40% of the asset rotation target announced last October as part of its Suez 2030 strategic plan and has found, with PreZero, a new environment that will benefit to the development of the business and its employees,” the statement said.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter 2021.

Suez also said it had entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Schwarz Group to “explore possibilities to develop strategic partnerships promoting innovative waste management solutions to accelerate the development of the circular economy in Europe.”

On Aug. 30 Veolia offered to buy a 29.9% stake in Suez from French gas and power utility Engie for 2.9 billion euros ($3.4 billion) and if successful, to then launch a full takeover bid.

Suez’s board and management have rejected the offer and said the company was considering alternatives.

($1 = 0.8445 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Louise Heavens)

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