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Criteria, the industrial holding of La Caixa, acquires 7% of France's Suez Environnement

Barcelona-based Criteria CaixaHolding becomes the second largest shareholder of Suez Environnement after signing a binding agreement with the French-based utility company for the sale of Criteria's 24.14% stake in Agbar (Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona, S.A.) in exchange for 22 million newly issued Suez Environnement shares. These shares represent 4.1% of Suez's share capital and €299 million in cash. As part of the agreement, Criteria stated its intention to allocate part of the money received from the purchase of Suez Environnement shares in the stock market, aiming to achieve, depending on market conditions, a 7% stake in Suez Environnement, a company which currently controls 75.35% of Agbar.

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18 July 2014 08:27 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Barcelona-Based Criteria CaixaHolding becomes the second largest shareholder of Suez Environnement after signing a binding agreement with the French-based utility company for the sale of Criteria's 24.14% stake in Agbar (Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona, S.A.) in exchange for 22 million newly issued Suez Environnement shares. These shares represent 4.1% of Suez's share capital and €299 million in cash. As part of the agreement, Criteria stated its intention to allocate part of the money received from the purchase of Suez Environnement shares in the stock market, aiming to achieve, depending on market conditions, a 7% stake in Suez Environnement, a company which currently controls 75.35% of Agbar.


For its part, Suez Environnement will provide Criteria with representation on the French company’s Board of Directors and its Strategy Committee. In turn Criteria is committed to maintaining its investment in Suez Environnement for the next 4 years. Criteria have indicated that the sale of Agbar shares will make little impact the company’s gross profits.  

It has also noted that as part of the historic collaboration with Suez Environnement in the Spanish market, the agreement between Agbar and Criteria includes a commitment of Criteria to buy 15% of Aigües de Barcelona from Agbar, and to buy 14.5% of Aguas de Valencia from Suez Environnement.

When these investments in Aigües de Barcelona become effective, \u200B\u200Bits shareholders will be Agbar (forming 70%), Barcelona's Metropolitan Authority (15%) and Criteria (15%). La Caixa stressed that the investment of Criteria in Aigües de Barcelona reinforces its commitment and connection with the development of key infrastructure and services for the 36 municipalities that make up the Metropolitan Area of \u200B\u200BBarcelona, \u200B\u200Bas it has been for more than 20 years.

Isidre Fainé, President of Criteria CaixaHolding and La Caixa, noted that “the direct participation of Criteria in Suez Environnement as a shareholder is the culmination of a long and fruitful relationship between the two companies.” Fainé will be La Caixa's representative in Suez Environment's Board. He added that “Criteria gains room within a company that leads the environmental industry, with a strong international presence and a solid and diverse revenue base.”

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  • Agbar's headquarters, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and located in Barcelona (by ACN)

  • Agbar's headquarters, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and located in Barcelona (by ACN)