Suez Environnement set for shake up: Reuters

French company to follow compatriot competitor Veolia with restructuring.

Suez Environnement is a global leader in wastewater treatment
Suez Environnement is a global leader in wastewater treatment

Suez Environnement is planning to reorganise around a single brand and along regional lines, sources familiar with the plan told Reuters.

The company will move away from separate subsidiaries and brands, and aims to focus more on recycling activities for industrial customers, the sources said.

Suez will announce the new structure in February or March, a company executive who asked to remain anonymous told Reuters. A top executive in the Suez group confirmed the plan.

Suez's Degremont water engineering unit, one of three major units that formed the company through a series of mergers, will be folded into Suez's international operations.

Water concession unit Lyonnaise des Eaux, waste treatment unit SITA and some minor subsidiaries will also be brought more closely into the group to boost synergies and commercial opportunities, the Suez executive said.

Suez is also looking for more partnerships in its waste business, he added.

"The Suez Environnement group is indeed working on a new brand architecture and will move to a single brand. It will be announced in the course of 2015," a company spokeswoman said.
She declined to give further detail, but added Suez's current structure was too complex and not in line with the requirements of major industrial customers.

The restructuring will follow a similar reorganisation at market leader and top Suez competitor Veolia in 2013.

Like Veolia, Suez is looking for more growth in its international waste and water business as its French water concessions business stagnates.

The two firms increasingly focus on recycling raw materials and recuperating energy from waste, while offering waste and water treatment for clients in the mining, oil and gas exploration and agrifood industries.

Insiders say Suez's restructuring is likely to lead to a shake-up of management structures to more closely reflect the focus on industrial clients.

At Veolia, the shake-up has broken up traditional fiefdoms, given chief executive Antoine Frerot more power and brought new and younger managers into its executive committee.

In a drive to highlight its new strategy, Veolia Environnement will drop the word "Environnement" from its legal name and add the slogan "Resourcing the world" to its corporate logo and branding, a company source told Reuters.

Veolia's new industrial focus has started to pay off as first-half 2014 profit more than doubled.


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