Antoine Frérot, Veolia CEO presnting the financila results on March 1st, following the board of directors. © R.V - Click to enlarge
Ten days after being endangered by Henri Proglio, ex CEO of Veolia Environnement (VE), now EDF president, Antoine Frérot presented on March 1st, 2012 the group's financial results and refocusing strategy in order to reduce the debt of VE.
About the sale of VE share in its transportation subsidiary Veolia Transdev (fifty-fifty owned by VE and the Caisse des Dépôts), Antoine Frérot confirmed he was leading "exclusive negotiations" with an investor but he declined to mention his name. He said he was "very optimistic" about the transaction which could happen "relatively quickly, obviously before the end of 2012."
Antoine Frérot also said the percentage of the share this investor might buy was not yet defined. "He (ie the investor) confided he might buy a certain percentage, or the whole share".
If not, could VE it stay in Veolia Transdev's capital ? "We aim at completly devest transport and ultimately, to sell all the the group assets in this activity. There may be an intermediate step during which we would remain a small minority for some time, in order to accompany the pole investors", said the boss of VE.
On February 29th, the daily French economic newspaper Les Echos reported that this investor could be Cube Infrastructure (read below)
, an investment fund sponsored by Natixis.
Who is Cube Infrastructure ?
Contacted by Mobilicites.com, Cube Infrastructure managers didn't want to comment on the rumors of negotiations with Veolia Environment to buy its shares in Veolia Transdev, partly or totally.
The investment fund was created late 2007, sponsored by Natixis bank. It operates in the energy sector (renewable energy and service), water, cleanliness, telecommunications and public transport. The fund has raised over one billion euros from long-term investors.
We noticed the presence of Jerome Jeauffroy in the investment committee : he was CEO of Veolia Transport Northern Europe, Middle East, Latin America and Pacific, before joining Cube Infrastructure in May 2008.
In December 2010, Cube Infrastructure bought Arriva Germany to Deutsche Bahn (in partnership with Ferrovie dello Stato), and Veolia Transdev Norway (Boreal transport) in May 2011.