The French investigation service Parquet National Finacier (PNF) has started an investigation into political interference in a megafusion in the waste world. That‘s what French media is writing on the basis of a judicial source.
The French garbage giant Veolia bought industry companion Suez at the beginning of this year for about 13 billion euros. PNF, the service in charge of combating financial crime and corruption, is now investigating the potential influence of that takeover bid.
One of the main suspects in the case would be top official Alexis Kohler. He is Secretary General of the Elysee and thus has a top official position at the Presidential Palace. Kohler is said to have lobbied energy company Engie to sell Suez’s shares that company had to Veolia. Engie owned nearly 30 percent of Suez.
Dutch waste disposal
Just after the takeover, several unions complained about this potential interference from government. “We can only be happy that the trade unions complaint has been taken seriously by the PNF,” says trade union lawyer Jean-Baptiste Soufron in Le Monde.
Suez and Veolia were both active in Dutch waste treatment before the merger. The Dutch branch of Suez has been sold as part of the merger to the German PreZero, the recycling branch of Lidl owner Schwarz group.