Competition watchdog dissolves £11bn waste management partnership

Competition watchdog dissolves £11bn waste management partnership: French firm orders to sell most of rival’s UK division

The French waste management giant will have to sell most of its rival UK operations as competition watchdogs unwind a £11bn merger between the two.

The CMA blocked the partnership in May and yesterday ordered Veolia to sell three parts of Suez’s UK operations to address concerns raised by the deal.

Veolia this month agreed to sell Suez’s UK waste management unit to Australian investment bank Macquarie for £2 billion.

The CMA has ordered French waste management giant Veolia to sell three parts of rival Suez’s UK operations to address concerns raised by the £11 billion merger.

The company now has to find a buyer for its wastewater division and the group’s European mobile water treatment business.

CMA must approve each purchaser, including Macquarie. Veolia agreed last year to buy arch-rival Suez for his £11 billion after a fierce takeover bid.

The company operates waste management services for homes and businesses nationwide. Veolia and Suez also provide industrial wastewater management services.

French companies account for about a tenth of total UK turnover, with combined revenues of £3 billion.

Many local governments rely on both companies, and a merger of the two companies would have a negative impact on consumers in areas where they compete, the CMA said.

CMA blocked the tie-up because it would reduce competition for waste and water management services and lead to more expensive and lower quality results.

It warned that its impact would seep into higher council tax bills.

Veolia said it is on track to address the concerns.

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