Veolia's €2.91 Billion Acquisition of Suez

By Huang Haozhe (IE Business School), Nathan Walemba (University of Oxford)


Overview of the deal

Acquirer: Veolia Environnement S.A.

Target: Suez S.A.

Total Transaction Size: 2.91 billion EUR

Closed date: Q4 2020

Acquirer advisor: Perella Weinberg, Messier Maris and Citi

Target advisor: Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Société Générale and Rothschild

A merger between two French utility groups was speculated as early as 2012, however, the deal was scrapped due to disagreements on price. In July this year, Engie, which holds a 32 per cent stake in Suez, said it was open to selling its stake during a strategic review of its portfolio. Veolia rapidly put together a €15.50 a share cash offer to buy 29.9 per cent of Engie’s stake in Suez. If the offer is successful, Veolia will make an offer for the rest.

"In a global market, size is critical to finance the equipment needed to fund the environmental transition of cities and industries, the reunion of the two groups would be the football equivalent of a merger of Manchester United and Manchester City" – Veolia CEO Antoine Frérot

Company Details: Veolia Environnement S.A.

Veolia is a French transnational company with most of its business concentrated in water, waste management, and energy. With over 300,000 employees in almost 50 countries, Veolia boasts over 2,500 subsidiaries around the world.

Founded in 1853, headquartered in Paris, France

CEO: Antoine Frérot

Number of employees: 163,226

Market Cap: €10.78B (as of 13/09/2020)

EV: $23.02B

LTM Revenue: €27.19B


LTM EV/Revenue: 0.90


Company Details: Suez S.A.

Suez is a French multinational company that operates in the water, electricity, and waste management sectors. It was formed as a result of the 1997 merger of Compagnie de Suez and Lyonnaise des Eaux. As of 2020, Suez has served over 117.4 million people around the world.

Founded in 1997, headquartered in Paris, France

CEO: Bertrand Camus

Number of employees: 88,775

Market Cap: €9.53B (as of 13/09/2020)