Macquarie share price slips despite rumours $3.7 billion acquisition imminent

French company Veolia is divesting itself of the assets to resolve antitrust concerns raised in May by UK regulators.

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Key points

  • The Macquarie share price is down 0.48% so far on Monday
  • The ASX 200 financial share is seeking to acquire Suez SA’s United Kingdom waste business for $3.7 billion
  • People in the know say a deal could be announced any day now

The Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) share price is dipping into the red in early afternoon trading.

Macquarie shares closed on Friday at $176.93 each and are currently trading for $176.08 a share, down 0.48%.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) financial share, which also counts amongst Australia's largest bank shares by market capitalisation, isn't the only financial share in the red. The S&P/ASX 200 Financials Index (ASX: XFJ) is also down 0.22% at the time of writing.

The Macquarie share price is dipping alongside the broader financial sector amid news hitting the wires about an imminent $3.7 billion acquisition.

Deal could be announced anytime

As Bloomberg reports, Macquarie appears poised to acquire Suez SA's United Kingdom waste business from Veolia Environnement SA for some 2.5 billion euros (AU$3.7 billion), according to "people with knowledge of the matter".

As the transaction details for water and waste-treatment business are private, those people requested anonymity.

Veolia is divesting itself of the asset to resolve antitrust concerns raised in May.

At the time, the UK Competition and Markets Authority said Veolia's acquisition of Suez's UK-based business could hurt competition and increase prices. Veolia didn't agree with that assessment but in June said it would divest itself of the asset. The company said the sale would "free up significant cash flow to finance new developments, particularly in the energy sector".

But Macquarie's acquisition isn't quite in the bag yet.

An investor group led by Meridiam SAS and Global Infrastructure Partners has already acquired Suez's operations in France. According to the people Bloomberg sourced, the investor group can still make a counteroffer to Macquarie's $3.7 billion bid for Suez's UK business.

Macquarie has not yet commented on the state of its acquisition bid.

Stay tuned.

Macquarie share price snapshot

The Macquarie share price is up more than 11% over the past 12 months. That compares to a full year loss of 7% posted by the ASX 200.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Macquarie Group Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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