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IP/09/ 1209

Brussels, 31 st July 2009

Mergers: Commission approves the acquisition of Société des Eaux de Marseille, Société des Eaux d'Arles and Société Stéphanoise des Eaux by Veolia Eau

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed purchase by the French company Veolia Eau-Compagnie Générale des Eaux ("Veolia Eau") of shares held by the French company Lyonnaise des Eaux ("LDE") in three joint subsidiaries owned together with Veolia Eau. These are: Société des Eaux de Marseille, Société des Eaux d'Arles and Société Stéphanoise des Eaux. The Commission found that the merger would not significantly restrict effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Veolia Eau is a subsidiary of the Veolia Environnement group, which is active throughout the water cycle, from abstraction to recycling, through the delegated management of water and waste water services and the installation of works and technical solutions.

The companies of which Veolia Eau is planning to acquire exclusive control are active in the South of France in water collection, treatment and supply, and in material recovery and public lighting.

LDE and Veolia Eau have decided to sell each other their holdings in nine joint subsidiaries which they control together. At the end of the proposed operation, Veolia Eau will take sole control of three of these companies: Société des Eaux de Marseille (with the exception of two subsidiaries - Société d'Exploitation du Réseau d'Assainissement de Marseille and Société Provençale des Eaux), Société des Eaux d'Arles, and Société Stéphanoise des Eaux. The take-over of the other six joint subsidiaries by LDE is the subject of a separate notification which is currently under consideration (Case M.5461 Lyonnaise des Eaux / Sociétés de distribution d'eau et d'assainissement).

The Commission’s investigations have indicated that the operation proposed by Veolia Eau would have no detrimental effect on competition in the markets for water services and material recovery in France, given the limited market shares of the companies to be acquired and the control over their activity that Veolia Eau already exercised jointly with LDE.

Further information on this case is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/mergers/cases/index/m109.html#m_5464


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