The acquisition of Suez Recycling and Recovery UK Group Holdings Ltd. by the new majority owners of its former parent group has been given the green light by the European Commission's Competition directorate-general. The proposed sale of controlling interests in Suez R&R UK by the French environmental services group Veolia to the financial investors Meridiam and Global Infrastructure Management (GIP) does not raise competition concerns "given its very limited impact on the market structure", according to the Commission's announcement on Tuesday. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger control procedure.
Veolia had acquired Suez R&R UK through its take-over of parent group Suez as a whole in January. The bulk of Suez's French operations and activities in several other countries were then sold on to a consortium consisting of Meridiam (40 per cent), GIP (40 per cent) and CDC Group/CNP Assurances (20 per cent).
Veolia had retained Suez R&R UK, but had to hold these operations separate while the British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) completed its in-depth review of the transaction. In its final decision released in August, the CMA required Veolia to divest the business in order to prevent a substantial lessening of competition on the British market. In September, Suez announced an agreement to buy back the British waste business from Veolia for an enterprise value of £2bn or approximately €2.3bn.