Grupo Agbar

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Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona, SA
TypeSociedad Anónima
FoundedLiège, Belgium (1867 (1867))
Key people
Àngel Simon, Chairman and CEO
ServicesWater treatment and Water supply
Revenue€167.3 million (2006)
OwnerSuez Environnement and CaixaBank
Number of employees
25,000 (2006)
SubsidiariesAguas Andinas

The Agbar Group is a benchmark in the complete water cycle and environmental management sector. It started out as Aigües de Barcelona and as of 2022 is part of the Veolia Group.[1]

With more than 150 years' experience, Agbar currently has over 15,000 employees and is committed to the digital transformation of water and environmental management. Its more than 900 industrial facilities and the 37 million people it supplies in Spain and Latin America make Agbar one of the industry's main references.[2]


The history of the group dates back to 1867, when the "Compagnie des Eaux de Barcelone" was founded in Liège to supply water to towns near Barcelona, today neighbourhoods in the city, through the Dosrius aqueduct. The company was acquired by French and later Catalan investors. The latter changed the company's name to "Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona" in 1919.[3][4]

The Agbar Group was established in 1975, covering economic sectors as diverse as drinking water supply, sanitation and construction. Subsequently, its activities were expanded to the fields of healthcare, technical vehicle inspection and tax collection.[5]

In 2008, Agbar ceased to be listed on the Spanish stock market and on the IBEX 35, following the joint takeover bid by the French group Suez (holding 56%) and Criteria Caixa, the CaixaBank investment group and former majority shareholder (with the remaining 44%). In 2010, Agbar became a subsidiary of Hisusa (Holding de Infraestructuras y Servicios Urbanos, S.A.),[6] with Suez Environnement holding 75.74% of this holding company and Criteria Caixa  24.26%. During the transaction, Agbar divested itself of its shares in Adeslas. In 2014, Suez Environnement (renamed Suez in 2015) acquired 100% of Agbar, after signing an agreement with Criteria Caixa for the sale of its 24.26%, in exchange for a 4.1% stake in the French group's capital. Agbar became one of the subsidiaries of Suez Spain for complete water cycle management.[7]

At the start of 2022, the Veolia Group, active in water and waste management and energy services, launched a takeover bid for Suez, taking control of 86.22% of its shareholding, a percentage that would be increased to 95.95% after the closing of its complementary offer to acquire the shares that had not participated in its initial takeover bid.[8]

See also[edit]

Torre Agbar in Barcelona, the group's headquarters from 2005 to 2017.


  1. ^ "Veolia adquiere por 3.400 millones el 29,9% de Suez". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 2020-10-05. Retrieved 2022-08-08.
  2. ^ DÍAS, CINCO (2022-06-30). "Veolia cierra la absorción de Agbar en España y alcanzará los 15.000 empleados". Cinco Días (in Spanish). Retrieved 2022-08-08.
  3. ^ "Simón aplaude la entrada de Veolia en Agbar: "Nos hace más fuertes"" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2022-08-09.
  4. ^ Vozpópuli (2014-03-01). "Fallece Ricard Fornesa, expresidente de Agbar y gran impulsor de La Caixa". Vozpópuli (in European Spanish). Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  5. ^ "Agbar recorre sus 150 años de historia". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2022-08-09.
  6. ^ "Simón aplaude la entrada de Veolia en Agbar: "Nos hace más fuertes"" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2022-08-31.
  7. ^ Press, Europa (2021-12-28). "El Gobierno autoriza con condiciones la inversión de Veolia Environnement en Suez Spain". Retrieved 2022-08-31.
  8. ^ "La participación de Criteria en Suez vale 466 millones de euros, mientras que el valor de Agbar se calcula en 2.664 millones. Es decir, Criteria precisaría de fondos que aportaran los 2.200 millones restantes". Hispanidad (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-08-08.

External links[edit]