(Bloomberg) — The world’s electricity, gas and water suppliers have accomplished the improbable feat of striking bigger deals than they did prior to the onset of the year’s slump in mergers and acquisitions.
This week, Veolia Environnement SA set the stage for what could be a long battle for full control of Suez SA by taking a 29.9% stake in the French water utility for 3.4 billion euros ($4 billion). It was the latest in a flurry of multibillion-dollar transactions that have lifted utilities deal volumes by more than a third this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, making it the only major sector tracking above 2019 levels.
Driving the trend has been companies’ desire to cash in on investor demand for stable assets that can deliver sustainable long-term returns, which has been amplified by the pandemic. The broader push toward clean power generation and supply also