Vivendi May Sell USFilter Division
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PARIS (AP) _ Vivendi Environnement SA is in talks to sell the equipment division of Palm Desert, Calif.-based United States Filter Corp., the French company confirmed Monday.
Henri Proglio, chairman of the Vivendi Environnement management board, said in an article in Le Figaro newspaper this weekend that discussions were underway to sell the division, which makes pumps, pipes and valves.
A Vivendi Environnement spokeswoman declined to provide further details of the transaction. Recent news reports have said two private equity concerns, Thomas H. Lee Co. and J.P. Morgan Partners, are negotiating to buy the unit, said to be valued at $650 million.
Vivendi Environnement bought USFilter in 1999 to increase its share of the worldwide water treatment market. USFilter is the largest water company in North America, with revenue of $4.2 billion last year.
Vivendi Environnement announced in March that it plans to sell off noncore assets, worth about $1 billion, which aren’t directly related to its water distribution business.
Debt-laden Vivendi Universal holds 40.8 percent of water and waste utilities company Vivendi Environnement.