Engie has welcomed the improved offer Veolia presented for a 30 per cent stake in Suez. The offer was "in line with its expectations in terms of price and social guarantees," the French utility said in a statement released late on Wednesday. Veolia had had increased its offer for most of Engie's holding in Suez on Wednesday morning, raising the price it was prepared to pay from €15.50 to €18.00 per share, a total of around €3.4bn.
With Veolia's offer due to expire at midnight, Engie said it had asked for more time, requesting that Veolia extend the validity period of its new offer until 5 October, "in order that Veolia formalise its unconditional commitment not to launch a public tender offer which wouldn’t be friendly." In the interim, Engie executives would "maintain their efforts to favour dialogue between both companies".
In a statement issued a short time later, Veolia confirmed that it welcomed Engie's requests and would extend the validity of the offer it presented today until Monday. Moreover it agreed to formalise the terms of its commitment not to launch a hostile takeover bid on Suez's remaining shares. In addition to raising the offered share price, Veolia pledged on Wednesday to maintain full employment in France and to integrate the concerns' management and executive committees.