Lidl-owner Schwarz Group has secured EU antitrust approval to acquire French waste and water management company Suez's recycling business in four EU countries, after agreeing to sell Suez's Dutch packaging sorting business.
Suez announced in September the sale of its Recycling & Recovery operations in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and Poland as part of its 2030 strategic plan. Its plastic recycling and hazardous waste treatment activities are excluded from the deal.
Schwarz's PreZero environmental division is making the acquisition.
The European Commission said Schwarz, which also owns German retail chain Kaufland, will divest Suez's lightweight packaging sorting business in the Netherlands, including Suez's sorting plant in Rotterdam to address competition concerns.
Reuters had reported on April 7 that Schwarz would secure EU clearance for the deal.
Earlier this week, Suez announced that it its board of directors, along with the board of directors of Veolia, have agreed in principle to merge the two businesses.
The merger creates a combined business with revenue of approximately €7 billion. It will also facilitate implementation of Veolia's plan to 'create a global champion of ecological transformation', the company said.
"This agreement in principle gives us every chance of obtaining a global solution that would offer the essential social guarantees for all employees and prospects," commented Bertrand Camus, Suez chief executive. "I would like to thank all the Suez teams for their tremendous mobilisation in implementing the Suez 2030 strategic plan, of which everyone can be proud."