The merger of French energy heavyweights Gaz de France and Suez is poised to receive the EU green light after the two companies agreed to abide by more stringent conditions set by Brussels.

To attain EU approval the new combined company will have to sell the 25.5% interest owned by Gaz de France in the capital of SPE. Additionally, the new group will need to sell the participation held by Suez in Distrigaz. However, the new entity would keep all its residential customers in Belgium.

Moreover the merged company will spin-off Fluxys International, which owns the LNG terminal at Zeebrugge, the hub manager and other activities outside Belgium. Ownership of Distrigaz and Gaz de France’s 25% interest in Segeo will be transferred to Fluxys.

Other minor divestments will also have to be made.

The development means that the advancement to the eventual combination of the two firms is now apace following the recent resolution in the French parliament to legislate to allow the French government’s holding in GDF to fall below 70%.