SEBASTIEN BERNARD, General Counsel, Veolia Middle East
After one year spent in a Jersey trust (Channel Islands) and seven years working in a couple of European based companies, including Thales, a leading group of companies in the field of mission-critical information systems for defence and security, aerospace and transportation, where he subsequently occupied different positions, Sebastien joined the headquarters of Dalkia in 2007 as Senior International Counsel for Middle East and Asia. In 2009, he then became Special Advisor to Veolia’s Chief Legal Officer & Company Secretary.
In Veolia’s headquarters, Sebastien has been deeply involved in some major investment projects and corporate transactions in relation to all the group activities; he also carried out some strategic disinvestment operations such as transfer of securities and sale of non-core assets within the framework of a program launched by the group aimed at reducing its net financial debt.
Early 2010, he moved to Dubai and became General Counsel of Dalkia, initially in charge of META and India regions, before having his perimeter extended to Asia (in addition to the Middle East). Deals and transactions Sebastien has been involved in while in Dalkia include Saadiyat District Cooling project in Abu Dhabi, securing and closing a RMB 387m increase of capital in China and successfully closing the sale of Dalkia’s former operations in India, Macau and Malaysia.
Following the take-over by Veolia of Dalkia’s international operations at the end of July 2014, Sebastien became General Counsel of Veolia Middle East, covering the GCC and the neighbouring countries.
Sebastien has an extensive experience in the field of energy, water and waste water infrastructure projects, especially in the Middle East, Turkey, Africa and in Asia. He has also developed strong skills in project finance, M&A transactions (including asset and share-based transactions) and corporate governance. Sebastien has a dual citizenship: French and British.