EBRD, Veolia expand cooperation in central, eastern Europe

The EBRD is investing up to €105 million for a 10 percent stake in Veolia Voda, with the aim of boosting the role of the private sector in the provision of water and wastewater services especially in Russia and Ukraine. The funds will be used by Veolia Voda to continue its expansion in the Bank's countries of operation with an emphasis on development in Russia and Ukraine. A holding company for Veolia Water central and eastern European activities, Veolia Voda has already made successful...

PARIS, Nov. 26, 2007 -- The EBRD is investing up to €105 million for a 10 percent stake in Veolia Voda, with the aim of boosting the role of the private sector in the provision of water and wastewater services especially in Russia and Ukraine.

The funds will be used by Veolia Voda to continue its expansion in the Bank's countries of operation with an emphasis on development in Russia and Ukraine. A holding company for Veolia Water central and eastern European activities, Veolia Voda has already made successful entries into the markets of Hungary and the Czech and Slovak republics. The EBRD's investment will support the entry of a world leader in the water sector into Russia and Ukraine.

As well as supporting a rise in quality of the provision of water and wastewater services, Veolia brings a commitment to transparency and good corporate governance. The development of effective and sustainable infrastructure is crucial for the successful transformation of economies in the EBRD region and infrastructure projects are playing an increasingly important role in EBRD investments.

Antoine Frérot, Chief Executive Officer of Veolia Water said, "this partnership underlines Veolia Voda's commitment to working in close co-operation with authorities in Central and Eastern Europe, and our development in this region will be further enhanced through EBRD's support. Our long standing expertise will contribute not only to providing communities with efficient water and wastewater services, but also to the protection of natural water resources which is of major importance to this region."

Thomas Maier, EBRD Director for Municipal & Environmental Infrastructure, said improving the supply of water and reducing the danger of pollution and sickness by raising the quality of wastewater treatment made a real difference to the quality of people's lives. "Veolia's track record in this sector makes them the ideal partner in the drive to transform this sector in areas where international operators have yet to enter the market" he added.

The EBRD provided €307 million in support of municipal and environmental infrastructure projects in 2006 and has committed a total of 2.8 billion in 165 infrastructure projects since 1996 -- when the Bank first started MEI investment). Investments in water services totaled 1.6 billion during this period.

The EBRD, owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, aims to foster the transition from centrally planned to market economies from central Europe to central Asia.

Veolia Water, the water division of Veolia Environnement, is a world leader in water and wastewater services. Specialized in outsourcing services for municipal authorities, as well as industrial and service companies, it is also one of the world's major designers of technological solutions and constructor of facilities needed in water and wastewater services.

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