UPDATE 1-French utilities Veolia and Suez strike merger deal

(Adds share price)

PARIS, April 12 (Reuters) – French utilities Veolia and Suez have agreed a merger deal after battling for months over terms, the companies said on Monday.

The agreement values Suez at 20.50 euros ($24.4) per share, they said.

Shares in Suez were up 6.64% at 0825 GMT, while Veolia shares were up 2.97%.

Paris-based Suez in February rejected an 11.3 billion euro takeover bid by domestic rival Veolia.

Since then, the two companies have struggled to agree how to carve up the waste and water management company’s business, which has led them to clash in court.

$1 = 0.8415 euros Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Matthieu Protard; Editing by Jan Harvey

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