(Updates with comments from Engie chairman)
PARIS, Sept 7 (Reuters) - French utility Engie’s chairman told the head of Suez “to keep calm” and get down to work quickly if he wants to present an alternative to a takeover offer by bigger rival Veolia which he dismissed at the weekend.
Water and waste management group Veolia offered to buy a stake in Suez from Engie and said it was willing to take over the rival, estimating its enterprise value at 20 billion euros ($23.7 billion).
On Sunday, Bertrand Camus, the head of Suez, dismissed Veolia’s offer as “disastrous” for France.
“I think we all need to keep calm,” Engie chairman Jean-Pierre Clamadieu told France Info on Monday.
“As I directly told Bertrand Camus, I think that if Suez wants to develop another project, we will study it as attentively. Simply, time matters and they need to get down to work very very quickly. Now, I think, they’ve started”.
A friendly deal between utilities Veolia and Suez may be possible, the head of French public lender CDC said on Monday, adding the creation of a “national champion” would be a “good thing”.
“The creation of a national champion seems a good thing in our view (...) It is possible that a friendly deal is in the works,” Eric Lombard said during a press conference.
CDC holds a 5.7% stake in Veolia and a 1.5% stake in Suez. ($1 = 0.8452 euros) (Reporting by Benjamin Mallet, Maya Nikolaeva and Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Jan Harvey and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
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