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Vivendi isn’t the only French company shedding assets in the United States. Paris-based utility Suez S.A. announced on September 4 that it had agreed to sell its subsidiary Ondeo Nalco Company to a trio of New York-based buyout firms for $4.35 billion. Apollo Management, L.P., Blackstone Group L.P., and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners (a unit of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.) will join forces to buy the Naperville, Illinois-based water treatment and chemical company. Blackstone won the auction in August and invited Apollo and Goldman, which had teamed on a competing offer, to join its bid in order to spread the risk. The threesome will put $1.15 billion of equity into Ondeo and pay the rest of the purchase price with borrowed money. Suez paid $4.5 billion for Ondeo Nalco in 1999 and combined the company with Calgon Inc., a related business for which Suez paid $421 million earlier in 1999. Under pressure from credit rating agencies and its own shareholders, Suez has been carrying out a divestiture campaign since last year. It has already sold about $7 billion of assets in addition to Ondeo Nalco. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year. For acquiror Blackstone Group L.P. (New York) Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (New York): Corporate: Wilson Neely and associates Jeffrey Goldfarb, Jennifer Grady, Patrick Naughton, and Mariya Vinnik. Financing: James Knight, Edward Tolley III, and associates Anne Callender, Richard Fenyes, Alexandra Laptook, J. Alden Millard, Jr., and Shana Neiditch. Tax: Gary Mandel and associate Adam Rosenzweig. Employee benefits: Brian Robbins and associates Rachel Berry, Laurence Moss, and Natasha Sankovitch. Global antitrust: David Vann, Jr., and associates Olivier Antoine and Ethan Litwin. Hart-Scott-Rodino: associates Jack D’Angelo and Kenneth Ehrhard. Sale/Leaseback: Kenneth Wyman and associate Adrienne Saunders. Environmental: counsel Michael Isby. Intellectual property: associate Jennifer Rackoff. India corporate matters: associate Anuradha Shastri. (Vann and Litwin are in London; Shastri is in Hong Kong.) Simpson has been Blackstone’s primary outside counsel since the late 1980s. For acquirors Apollo Management, L.P. (New York) and The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (New York) In-house: Apollo had no in-house counsel. Goldman declined to release the names of its in-house counsel. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz (New York): Corporate: Daniel Neff and associates Nancy Greenbaum, David Lam, and David Shapiro. Tax: Deborah Paul and associate T. Eiko Stange. Employee benefits: Michael Katzke and associate David Kahan. Creditors’ rights: Richard Feintuch. Real estate: Stephen Gellman and associate David Silva. Antitrust: Ilene Knable Gotts and associate Damian Didden. For seller Suez S.A. (Paris) In-house: At Suez: Senior corporate legal adviser Marouan Niazy. At Ondeo Nalco Company (Naperville, Illinois): General counsel J. Michael Newton, deputy general counsel Steve Landsman, and senior attorney Michael Murphy. Davis Polk & Wardwell (New York): Corporate: Paul Kingsley and associates William Chudd, Nicolas McKee, and Daniel Schubert. Tax: Michael Mollerus and associate Robert Heller. Environmental: Gail Flesher and associate Judy Melillo. Real estate: Thomas Dore, Jr., counsel Susan Kennedy, and associate Thaddeus Tracy. Employment: Edmond FitzGerald and associate Renata Ferrari. Banking: Lawrence Wieman. Davis Polk first represented Suez in 1948, when it was still the Suez Canal Company. The firm represented the company in its 2001 listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw (Chicago): Fiona Adams, Jean-Pierre Lee, Matthew Posthuma, Frederick Thomas, and associates Dimitrios Angelis, Erick Harris, Neill Jakobe, Mohit Kalra, Zachary Luber, Betsy Pearce, and Tom Thraya. Employee benefits: Wayne Luepker and associate Christina Cerasale. (Adams is in London, Lee is in Paris, and Angelis is in New York.) Mayer, Brown also represents Ondeo Nalco in the transaction. The firm has done work for Ondeo Nalco on a regular basis since the mid-1980s. Squire, Sanders & Dempsey (Cleveland): Antitrust: Barry Pupkin and associate Christopher Gordon. European Union competition law: Rebecca O’Donnell and associate Oliver Geiss. (Pupkin and Gordon are in Washington, D.C.; O’Donnell and Geiss are in Brussels.)

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