French waste and water management firm Suez SEVI.PA, subject of a hostile takeover bid from rival Veolia VIE.PA, on Tuesday said it would hand back more than 1 billion euros ($1.17 billion) to its shareholders by the middle of next year.
Veolia last month offered to pay 2.9 billion euros for a 29.9% stake in Suez owned by French conglomerate Engie ENGIE.PA, with a view to subsequently taking full control of Suez by buying up more shares.
Engie rejected Veolia’s initial advance but has said it will consider a higher offer for the Suez stake. Suez Chairman Philippe Varin has called the Veolia bid “very hostile”, and said Veolia’s plans for the business were unrealistic.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Suez said that a strategy it launched last year to revamp the company’s performance was delivering results faster than expected, allowing the firm to raise its mid-term financial targets.