Competition watchdog unwinds £11bn waste management tie-up: French firm ordered to sell most of a rival’s UK arm
A French waste management giant must sell most of a rival’s UK business as the competition watchdog unwinds an £11billion merger between the two.
The CMA blocked the tie up in May and yesterday ordered Veolia to sell off three parts of Suez’s UK business to address concerns raised by the deal.
Veolia this month agreed a £2billion sale of Suez’s UK waste management arm to Australian investment bank Macquarie.
The CMA has ordered French waste management giant Veolia to sell off three parts of rival Suez’s UK business to address concerns raised by their £11bn merger
It must now find a buyer for its wastewater division and the group’s European mobile water treatment business.
The CMA must approve each of the buyers, including Macquarie. Veolia agreed to buy arch rival Suez for £11billion last year after a bitter takeover battle.
The firms run waste management services for households and businesses across the country. Veolia and Suez also run industrial waste water management services.
The French firms make around a tenth of their overall sales in the UK with a combined revenue of £3billion.
The CMA said many local authorities are dependent on the firms and in areas where they compete, their merger would be bad for consumers.
The CMA blocked the tie up because it would reduce competition for waste and water management services and lead to more expensive and lower quality outcomes.
It warned the impact would filter through to higher council tax bills.
Veolia said it is well on the way to addressing the concerns.