SUEZ Environnement is recognized as a global leader in the water treatment and waste management industries.
To support growth, SUEZ Environnement has used Intralinks® to guarantee the security of its M&A transactions, a number of which have been managed from the buy-side.
SUEZ Environnement is a leading French utility company that provides both water treatment and waste management services. The group works with government, industry and consumers to create solutions for today’s complex resource management challenges. The company has pioneered water optimization including advanced solutions like waste water recycling and seawater desalination. SUEZ Environnement frequently serves as a trusted consultant on sustainable urban development initiatives.
In recent years, SUEZ Environnement pursued an M&A strategy that saw them acquiring smaller companies worldwide. The group's M&A operations are based in Paris and led by Guillaume Kiecken (Acquisitions and Project Finance Senior Officer). From this base, it pursues a global M&A strategy which requires a userfriendly, virtual tool for sharing critical information across borders.
Many of SUEZ Environnement’s acquisition targets were not familiar with the M&A process, and they were unprepared for the sheer volume of documents that needed sharing. SUEZ Environnement recognized early on that they needed a Virtual Data Room (VDR) that had a strong reputation, was easy to use and would provide peace of mind for all users.
The M&A team’s goals for the VDR were two-fold: ensuring a paperless, efficient deal-making process where all documents are easy to share for all parties involved, together with guaranteeing the security and confidentiality of all information stored online.
Guillaume Kiecken consulted with SUEZ Environnement’s M&A advisor on available VDR services. After being advised that Intralinks was the best option, Guillaume Kiecken and Intralinks moved forward and started the education process with SUEZ Environnement’s targets.
“For us, it was easier to provide education on the process once we had picked the right VDR partner. We could work with them to show our potential targets that sending documents by mail is not the optimal way to work, and that Intralinks is simpler, more efficient and, importantly, secure,” Guillaume Kiecken said. “You put the documents online through the VDR and then all the members of our team - and all the advisors - can work directly on the files, with no requirement to send documents all over the world using couriers.”
Guillaume Kiecken said that he has never tried to use an alternative VDR because he believes Intralinks' services, security and technology are unrivalled. Guillaume Kiecken finds the ability to put restrictions on specific documents one of the most useful features. On any single deal SUEZ Environnement works with a number of different advisors on deals, whose expertise range from technical engineering to legal. It is therefore vital, both for efficiency and security purposes, that specific documents are only available to the relevant advisor.
On this topic Guillaume Kiecken said: “We are very comfortable that documents won’t get into the wrong hands.”
Intralinks provides a layered approach to security that put Guillaume Kiecken’s mind at ease. “Using Intralinks’ VDR allowed us to eliminate the risk of putting confidential information into the wrong hands,” he said. “We know that our data will always be secure with Intralinks. Intralinks instills confidence in our team but, more importantly, in the teams of our targets.”
While security is a top-line feature for SUEZ Environnement, the company has also taken advantage of the efficiencies that come with an Intralinks VDR. According to Guillaume Kiecken, he has reduced the time he spends on the deal making process by 25 percent since starting to use Intralinks.
With an established track record of success, Intralinks will continue to be the leading provider for SUEZ Environnement in future M&A projects.
“Intralinks provided exactly the service we were looking for. We were in a rush, we needed a VDR, and we needed a company which could set up quickly without compromising security,” Guillaume Kiecken concludes. “Intralinks was the best option, and it worked.”