Vigil of arms for candidates for the acquisition of Equans

So far all has been going well for Engie. Three serious contenders compete for multitechnical services, grouped under the Equans banner (Ineo, Axima, etc.), put up for sale by the energy company. The last survivors of the seven initial applicants, Bouygues, Eiffage and the American investment fund Bain Capital have planned to submit a firm offer on November 2 to buy these activities ranging from air conditioning to fiber installation, which employ 80,000 people. in 17 countries, including 27,000 in France. The seller assured the suitors that he would not organize a third round of auction. An exclusivity with one of the candidates should be signed immediately.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Engie launches the sale of Equans, a case under close surveillance

This rivalry may give Engie hope for a sale price of more than 6 billion euros. The competition must still be full and complete. “We are extremely vigilant about the transparency and fairness of the auction process in which we participate. The legal security of the process of examining binding offers is a prerequisite to guarantee that no candidate will be favored ”, warned Matthias Boyer Chammard, associate director of Bain Capital, in an interview with Echos October 20.

Under bailiff control

An allusion to the fear, raised by some in private, that the State, Engie’s largest shareholder with 23.6% of the capital, shows, five months before the presidential election, a preference for Bouygues, owner of TF1. Since October 4, and the announcement of the non-renewal of the President of the Competition Authority, Isabelle de Silva, the business community has interpreted this decision as a takeover of the political to facilitate the takeover of M6 by TF1. Even if these suspicions are swept away by Engie, the latter could seek safeguards, such as opening envelopes under bailiff control, in order to avoid any controversy.

Battalions of some 200 lawyers, consultants, and other auditors were mobilized by the suitors, at an estimated cost of between 2 and 3 million euros per week.

Spie’s surprise withdrawal on October 12 helped fuel questions. The candidate clarified that he did not have access to enough information “To enable it to formulate a firm offer within the time limit”. Equans’ portfolio comprising thousands of small contracts, the « data room », which compiles company data, is the largest ever, according to investment bankers, with a million pages to sift through. Battalions of some 200 lawyers, consultants, and other auditors were mobilized by the suitors, at an estimated cost of between 2 and 3 million euros per week.

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