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Veolia Picks Potential Buyers For UK Water, US Solid Waste Units

05/16/2012 | 01:00pm US/Eastern

Antoine Frerot, Chief Executive of French waste and water utility Veolia Environnement SA (VE), said it has selected potential buyers for its U.K. water and U.S. solid waste units, without identifying any.

During the company's annual shareholders meeting, Frerot said the company plans to sell the assets this summer. He also said the company started negotiations with an investor to sell its transportation unit Veolia Transdev since February, though he didn't identify the investor either.

People familiar with the negotiations recently told Dow Jones Newswires three groups submitted indicative offers for the U.K. and U.S. units. First group is led by AXA Private Equity, while the second is led by GS Infrastructure Partners, a unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), and the third is led by London-based Icon Infrastructure.

The company's Chief Executive said he doesn't expect the company will post a net loss in 2012, though this year and next will be "demanding."

Veolia's Chief Financial Officer Pierre-Francois Riolacci said the company has managed to cut its costs by EUR75 million this year.

Separately, Veolia's shareholders appointed Jacques Aschenbroich, the chief executive of auto part maker Valeo SA (>> VALEO), as Veolia's board member.

-By Inti Landauro, Dow Jones Newswires; +33 1 4017 1740; inti.landauro@dowjones.com

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