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Trude  Tirsdag 15. Juni 2010, kl. 14:42
French Veolia Water becomes new owner of Sofiyska Voda*

French company Veolia Water has signed an agreement with United
Utilities to gobble up 58% in Sofia’s water and sewage operator Sofiyska
Voda, the company said.

The French company also acquired the UK utility’s stakes in Estonian
Tallinna Vesi and Poland’s Aqua, which services around 300,000 people.

Veolia said the combined price tag of the transaction is EUR 199 million
but did not reveal financial details for the Sofiyska Voda purchase.

Before it takes effect, the deal needs to obtain he go-ahead from the
anti-trust watchdogs in the countries where the three water utilities
are based.

Veolia also needs the nod of its partner European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The financial institution already
holds a stake in Sofiyska Voda as partner of United Utilities.

Negotiations to acquire Sofiyska Voda had been held for a couple of
months. In 2009, the UK company started offloading other assets on a
global scale.

In Bulgaria, Veolia will inherit a concession contract with Sofia
municipality expiring in 2024, which involves no fee but a serious
investment commitment.