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France's Suez unions protest against Veolia takeover plan

PARIS, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Unions at France’s Suez protested on Tuesday against takeover plans by larger rival Veolia which they fear will lead to job losses.

About 200 employees wearing face masks, with some waving “#AlwaysSUEZ” banners, gathered near Suez headquarters in La Defense business district, near Paris.

“Danger. Veolia + Engie = Death of Suez Water France = End of Competition = Water Price Sky-rocketing”, other banners also said.

Veolia offered on Aug. 30 to buy a 29.9% stake in Suez from French gas and power utility Engie for 2.9 billion euros, saying it aimed to create a “world champion of ecological transformation”.

Suez CEO Bertrand Camus dismissed the offer, saying it was “disastrous” for France. He also warned of hefty job cuts if the deal went through.

The French government said it would be vigilant over engagements that Veolia would make to keep jobs and key activities in France.

Engie holds 31.71% of Suez and the French state has a 23.6% stake in Engie. (Reporting by Gonzalo Fuentes; Writing by Matthieu Protard; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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