Water treatment Europe Membranes
Thursday, 19 May 2022

Saur acquisition journey continues: Veolia’s European Mobile Water Services

Nijhuis Saur Industries looks set to acquire Veolia’s European Mobile Water Services as it expands its European operations. Aquatech Online looks into the deal.

Sustainable water treatment across Europe

Nijhuis Saur Industries continues full steam ahead with its ambition to build, through acquisition, a European reference player in the industrial market.

Kicking off 2022 with the acquisition of ceramic membrane company PWNT, it has now entered into an agreement with Veolia to acquire its European Mobile Water Services (MWS Europe).

The mobile water solutions division has 600 customers, made up of almost 400 mobile water units employing 70 people across the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Benelux, Spain, Poland and Sweden.

Saur agreed on a price of €190 million for MWS Europe, subject to any regulatory approvals.

“The acquisition of MWS Europe will strengthen our offering for industrial customers with essential mobile water infrastructure solutions.”

The move signifies Saur's continued push to develop its sustainable water and wastewater treatment solutions in Europe. It is also important to note that the move would increase the share of recurring and asset-based businesses within Saur’s Industrial Water market.

Speaking on the agreement, Patrick Blethon, executive chairman of Saur, said: “The acquisition of MWS Europe will strengthen our offering for industrial customers with essential mobile water infrastructure solutions.

"It is also a key step to increase the unique positioning and recurring nature of Saur’s Industrial Water activities.”

A fair playing field

The agreement follows concerns from the European Commission’s competition policy surrounding the Veolia and Suez merger from 2021. The deal was approved pending proposed corrective measures to the agreement and the implementation of antitrust remedies.

The European Commission competition policy is in place to encourage companies to offer consumers goods and services on the most favourable terms.

"We are pleased of this important step related to the third phase of the divestitures in line with our commitments to the European Commission regarding competition.”

This transaction between Saur and Veolia is subject to the completion of consultations with Veolia's employee representative bodies, as well as to obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals.

Claude Laruelle, Chief Financial Officer at Veolia, said: "We are pleased of this important step related to the third phase of the divestitures in line with our commitments to the European Commission regarding competition, progressing on schedule, which confirms the attractiveness of the assets we offered to divest."

Saur's busy two years

It has been a busy two years for Saur.

Back in 2020, the company acquired Nijhuis Industries, with the aim of creating a reference player in the industrial water market, a segment estimated to be worth €20-25 billion per year.

It came as part of its Initiative 2023 strategic project to build, through acquisition. This continued with the purchase of PWNT, which saw ceramic membranes added to its portfolio.

Earlier this year, Saur acquired Byosis, a company that specialises sin ammonia recovery, pasteurisation units, and gas scrubbers, to bolsters its circular agriculture solutions.

Speaking to Aquatech Online at the time, CEO Menno Holterman said: "Surface water will become one of the most important sources of water in the years to come. To convince utilities to choose your solution, you need robust technologies."


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