** Newsletter L’Expansion reports that banks have launched the sale of a 70 percent stake in France’s third-biggest water firm Saur with a letter to potential bidders last week.
** Among potential buyers are about ten investment funds (including Macquarie, KKR, Global Infrastructure Partners, Mirova, Ardian and Antin Infrastructures), as well as industrial companies such as Japan’s Mitsubishi, German Remondis and Spain’s Aqualia, L’Expansion reported. It said banks hope to get a valuation of at least 1.5 billion euros for the entire group.
** Project Finance International reported last month that the sale process was launched mid-April.
** BNP Paribas and Natixis hold 23 and 14 percent of Saur’s capital respectively, and another 37 percent is held by British funds. Saur said in November it had selected banks to prepare changes in its capital structure as it aims to become a global water group. The French water industry is dominated by global water firms Veolia and Suez.
** Saur declined to comment.
Note: Reuters has not verified this story and does not vouch for its accuracy (Reporting by Geert De Clercq and Benjamin Mallet)