SUEZ confirms GE Water buy for €3.2 billion

French company SUEZ will acquire GE Water for €3.2 billion...

Content Dam Ww Online Articles 2017 03 Suez Environnement

Content Dam Ww Online Articles 2017 03 Suez Environnement

PARIS, France – After weeks of speculation it has been confirmed that French company SUEZ will acquire GE Water for €3.2 billion.

The cash purchase will be in partnership with Canadian investment company Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), on a 70/30 split.

SUEZ intends to merge GE Water with its existing Industrial Solutions business and hinted at possible collaboration with its other business areas, such as recycling and energy recovery.

GE announced the sale of its water division in October 2016 as a result of a proposed merger of its Oil & Gas business with Baker Hughes.

Since then, multiple companies have been rumoured to be bidding, including global science and technology firm Danaher Corporation and US investment company, the Blackstone Group.

At the end of February SUEZ was added to the rumour mill after a financial results meeting when CEO Jean-Louis Chaussade said the group would be interested in buying GE Water.

The transaction is expected to close by mid-2017, subject to regulatory approvals.

While CDPQ's history of water-related investments still remains unclear, in 2010 the company invested £165 million into English utility South East Water.

GE Water generated $2.1 billion in revenue in 2016 from the industry water treatment market , estimated to be worth €95 billion with 5% growth annually.

Confirming the acquisition, Chaussade said: “I am very proud to announce the acquisition of GE Water,which will accelerate the implementation of SUEZ’ strategy by strengthening its position in the promising and fast‐growing industrial water market. This combination will create further value for both our employees, clients and shareholders.”

Michael Sabia, president and CEO at CDPQ, said: “Operating in a core industry, GE Water has built a premier business with recurring revenues and a high‐quality and diversified customer base. This investment is therefore highly aligned with CDPQ’s long‐term vision and its strategy of increasing its emphasis on stable assets anchored in the real economy, alongside key operators such as SUEZ.”

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