(Updates with comment from chief executive officer in second paragraph.)
Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Veolia Environnement SA, the biggest water company, is in talks with Electricite de France SA to lower its stake in the French operations of their Dalkia energy services venture to create a 50-50 partnership.
Veolia, which owns 66 percent, will exchange 16 percent for businesses in faster-growing markets, Chief Executive Officer Antoine Frerot said today at a press conference in Paris. The partners will have a “simplified” partnership with Veolia taking management control of the operation, which has contracts for heating and cooling office buildings and hospitals.
The two utilities plan to move into the energy efficiency business and trading in unused capacity, Frerot said. The move will help Veolia improve debt-to-earnings ratios.
“Dalkia is essential to Veolia’s strategy,” and its activities are “solid but need investment,” he said.
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