The 9 bln euro utility put its water unit in a non-profit foundation. That frustrates bidder Veolia, which wants to sell the business to allay competition issues, but may not stop it. Even if the ploy works, adding complexity dents CEO Bertrand Camus’ pledge to be more efficient.
The French gas and power group is decluttering its complex structure by exiting 20 markets. Engie’s state ownership and Belgian nuclear albatross act as a brake on activism, but won’t always save it if its undervaluation lingers. Still, steps to close the gap with big wind and solar peers suggest a capacity for self-help.