UPDATE 1-French utility Veolia in talks to buy Suez unit for 298 mln euros

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PARIS, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Veolia is in talks to buy sanitation networks maintenance firm OSIS from rival Suez for around 298 million euros ($354 million), the French water and waste management utility said on Tuesday.

Suez said it was its “first major announcement” in a plan to sell 3-4 billion euros in assets after falling to a first-half loss of 538 million euros.

Veolia said OSIS would fit in well with its own industrial and sanitation maintenance unit called SARP, adding it would make it a major player in that field.

OSIS has 2,500 employees in more than over 130 local service centers in France and reported revenue of 311 million euros in 2019 and an EBITDA of 23 million on a pro forma adjusted basis.

$1 = 0.8409 euros Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Benoit Van Overstraeten; editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Jason Neely