31 Aug 2022

Cleary, Jones Day and Weil lead on Veolia's €2.4bn sale of Suez's UK waste business to Macquarie

Sale comes after CMA investigated initial merger between waste management giants Suez and Veolia

Picture of a Veolia bin

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Jones Day and Weil Gotshal & Manges are advising in connection to French utility company Veolia’s sale of Suez’s UK waste business to Macquarie for €2.4bn in a bid to minimise antitrust concerns. 

The deal comes after the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) called Veolia’s combination with its former rival Suez into question when the merger was initially proposed earlier this year. 

Veolia is being advised by Cleary, while Jones Day and Weil are advising Macquarie. 

Cleary’s M&A team is being led by partners Pierre-Yves Chabert in Paris and Nallini Puri in London, while its competition team is being steered by London partners Jackie Holland and Paul Gilbert alongside a supporting cast of associates. 

Tax advice is being provided by partners Anne-Sophie Coustel in Paris and Richard Sutman in London, with further support for IP and financing matters coming from London partners Gareth Kristensen and Sui-Jim Ho respectively. 

On the other side, Jones Day partners Vica Irani and Ben Larkin are handling matters for longtime client Macquarie. 

In a statement, Veolia said the disposal of Suez’s UK waste business “addresses the main concerns” of the CMA.  

It added: “After the disposal of the remedies agreed with the European Commission and the signature of the agreement with Macquarie Asset Management, almost all of the antitrust divestitures will have been finalised less than a year after the acquisition of Suez.”

With the sale, the CMA said it is winding down its investigation into the merger after Veolia followed through on the sale of Suez to Australia’s Macquarie. 

Prior to the merger, Veolia and Suez were two of the largest suppliers of waste management services in the UK. In 2020, the companies generated an estimated £2bn and £1bn revenues in the UK respectively, according to the CMA. 

Estelle Brachlianoff, CEO of Veolia, said: “We are very satisfied with this transaction, which is being carried out under excellent conditions that once again demonstrate the attractiveness of the environmental services business and the relevance of our proposal for remedies to the CMA.”

“Following this transaction, Veolia will remain a major player in the waste sector in the United Kingdom and, more broadly, in the environmental services market in the region, which remains strategic for the group,” she said. 


 

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