Natixis SA, a French bank, is in talks to buy Veolia Environnement SA (VIE)’s 50 percent stake in Veolia Transdev, according to the joint owner of the mass- transit business.
Veolia has “entered exclusive talks” with a fund belonging to Natixis, Augustin de Romanet, the head of the Caisse de Depots et Consignations, a state-owned investment bank, said today in an interview on BFM radio. “We need to fight to preserve the capital of Transdev and I hope we have a new partner soon.”
Veolia Transdev was created after Veolia and CDC agreed to merge their transport units in 2010. Natixis’s Cube Infrastructure Fund has stakes in European transport, water and energy companies, according to its website.
CDS would have “preferred to continue” its partnership with Veolia, de Romanet said.
Veolia Chief Executive Officer Antoine Frerot said yesterday a deal to sell its stake in Transdev could be reached “quickly” as part of a plan to sell 5 billion euros ($6.6 billion) of assets this year and next to trim debt.
Victoria Eideliman, a spokeswoman for Natixis, declined to comment.
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