General Electric and Suez: Deal or No Deal?
On Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Jean-Louis Chaussade, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Suez SA (Suez), a French utility company that primarily operated in water and waste management, had to decide whether or not to acquire General Electric Water & Process Technologies. During the negotiations between Chaussade and the CEO of General Electric Company (GE), there had been many drastic changes, including the January 2017 inauguration of a US president with no political experience and an agenda that did not favour international co-operation. The deal represented a significant investment of US$2-$3 billion, and Suez would have to rely on an external partner to have even a chance of winning the bid GE had launched only a few weeks earlier. The complex negotiations were also fraught with risks due to increasing political interference from the new US president. What should Chaussade do? Bertrand Guillotin is affiliated with Temple University.