BRUSSELS/PARIS, March 26 (Reuters) - French water group Veolia is seeking European Union approval to vote at takeover target Suez’s upcoming shareholder meeting on resolutions that could include deposing Suez board members, two sources close to the matter said.
Veolia also wants to be able to vote on any shareholder resolution to remove a foundation Suez has set up to ringfence its French water operations, forming an obstacle to a takeover, and to oppose Suez asset sales, one of the sources said.
A second source confirmed talks with Brussels were ongoing, adding, however, these only involved broad themes and not detailed resolutions for now.
Veolia and Suez declined to comment. The European Commission could not immediately be reached for comment.
Veolia has been locked in a battle for months with water and waste management rival Suez, which opposes its moves to try to take over the company in an increasingly hostile saga.
Veolia is Suez’s top stakeholder with 29.9% and has launched a 11.2 billion euro ($13.21 billion) bid for the firm, but under European Union rules it cannot exercise control or influence over its target until the deal is cleared by regulators.
It will require special approval to use its vote to back some resolutions, and has begun talks with Brussels to determine what areas it might be able to vote on, the two sources said.
$1 = 0.8481 euros Reporting by Foo Yun Chee and Benjamin Mallet. Writing by Sarah White. Editing by Mark Potter