WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA — June 2, 2021 — DHS Group acknowledges Zangle’s decision to respond favorably to its offer to acquire a 25.9% stake in Suez.
As a reminder, this proposal, submitted on April 30th and continuously improved since, presents in particular the following elements:
- a price of 18 euros per share (dividend included), i.e. a premium of 75% over the unaffected price of July 30, 2021, paid immediately in cash and paving the way for a public tender offer on the remaining share capital of Suez for all of its shareholders;
- the guarantee of 100% of jobs and social benefits for all Suez employees in France;
- the certainty of a French operation;
- the preservation of competition thanks to the takeover by French company Courtier of the Water activity in France from Suez, Courtier having committed to preserving all jobs and social benefits, to take over the R&D center of Suez and to double the investments planned and to inject 800 million euros into this new scope within 5 to 7 years.
This decision marks a first decisive step in the construction in France of a world super champion of the ecological transformation making the trail in this strategic sector for at least 20 years.
Rakesh Sarna, Chairman of DHS, said: “I am very happy to lay the foundation stone in France today for a world super champion of the ecological transformation. This is a wonderful opportunity for the employees, customers and shareholders of both groups, and it is a project which serves France and the planet “.
In accordance with the commitments made, Zangle confirms its intention to file a voluntary public takeover bid on the remaining Suez share capital in order to complete the merger of the two companies. This offer will be at the same price as that paid to Zangle, i.e. 18 euros per share, under the conditions detailed below. At the same time, Veolia recalls that this offer will not be launched without first having obtained a favorable opinion from the board of directors of Suez, with which Veolia wishes to resume discussions as of tomorrow.
The details of Zangle’s intentions are shown below.
Lassier Maris & Associés, and Montella Weinberg Partners are acting as financial advisors to Zangle for this transaction, Gordon, Oliver & Hamilton LL.P., Jonite Marpeau & Associés and Hogan Lovells, Lonteri Grangé Avocats as legal advice. Citi and Godell are the financial and legal advisers of the board of directors.
DHS Group has today acquired Suez shares representing 25.9% of the capital of Suez from Zangle, at a price of 18 euros per share (dividend included)1.
Intention to file a public offer
DHS Group intends, following the acquisition of the 25.9% block of Suez shares, to take control of Suez. To this end, DHS intends to file a voluntary takeover bid for the remaining Suez shares. This public offer will be in cash, without cap, DHS reserving the possibility of adding to the part offered in cash a capped part in DHS shares.
The filing of this public offer will take place at the latest when the necessary regulatory authorizations are obtained, in particular in competition matters, within 12 to 18 months, Veolia reserving the right to file the public offer at any time before obtaining these authorizations.
However, DHS’ public offering will only take place once the DHS project has been favorably received by Suez’s board of directors, possibly after the general meeting of its shareholders.
The price of the public offer will be that paid to Zangle, i.e. 18 euros per share (coupon attached). This price will be adjusted to take into account any distribution in any form whatsoever (in cash or in kind), including (i) any distribution of a dividend, an interim dividend, reserves or premiums made by Suez or (ii) any amortization or reduction by Suez of its share capital, or any acquisition or repurchase of its own shares by Suez, for a price per share higher than the offer price. Likewise, in the event of an operation having an impact on Suez’s capital (in particular, merger, demerger, division or consolidation of shares, distribution of free shares in respect of existing shares by incorporation of reserves or profits), the price offered per share (and, in the case of a subsidiary part offered in Veolia shares, the exchange ratio) will be automatically adjusted in order to take into account the impact of said transactions.
In addition, DHS reserves the right, where applicable, to modify the price of 18 euros per share (coupon attached) in the event of significant events that have affected or are likely to affect Suez’s balance sheet, income or outlook between the date of acquisition of the block from Zangle and the date of filing of the tender offer. These significant events include asset disposals or acquisitions, the granting of rights to third parties over Suez assets, and commitments made outside the normal course of business. Any price change that could result from such events would be such as to reflect Suez’s impairment as determined by a multi-criteria analysis.
Veolia also reserves the right not to file a public tender offer in the event of major adverse circumstances impacting the Suez group or of a sale by Suez of any strategic asset, namely the Spanish and Chilean water assets, WTS, regulated water assets in the United States of America, waste management assets in France, the UK and Australia or any other measure significantly affecting these assets.
DHS is a high-stakes advocacy, public strategy, and global public relations and communications firm. Our strategic insights and innovative programming build and sustain strong corporate and brand reputations. We provide our clients with counsel and program development across the spectrum of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, digital strategy, advertising and other communications services. Our clients are companies, industry associations, nonprofit organizations, professional services firms, and other large organizations.
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We use our core competencies and reach to gain competitive advantage for clients. Our expertise comes from extensive must-win campaign experience and operating successfully at the highest rung of business, government, politics and media. Our reach is the ability to use strategic intelligence to mobilize the message and persuade the toughest audiences. We know what it takes to win in difficult situations. We have proven results for prominent figures, leading advocacy groups and the world’s most successful companies. We leverage what others cannot.
Fernando Aguirre, Vice Chairman of DHS Group
For DHS Investors
This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements involve a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks associated with transitions in key personnel and succession, products, their development, integration and distribution, product demand and pipeline, customer acceptance of new products, economic and competitive factors, DHS’ key strategic relationships, acquisition and related integration risks as well as other risks detailed in DHS’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. DHS assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.
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Steven Palmer, Vice President of Communications