World Economy

Multi-Stage Mega Deal in the Offing

Multi-Stage Mega Deal in the OffingMulti-Stage Mega Deal in the Offing

Utility RWE said on Sunday it had agreed to sell its 76.8% stake in Innogy to rival E.ON, as part of a complex deal that would position RWE as a clean energy champion.

The multi-stage deal to sell Innogy, a network, renewable and retail energy utility with a market value of €19 billion ($23.4 billion), would also result in RWE—Germany’s biggest electricity producer—owning a minority stake in E.ON, Reuters reported.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to phase out nuclear power after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011, and her government’s focus on raising ‘clean’ energy output have pressured profits and forced utilities to radically restructure in order to remain viable.

Through the takeover, which includes shares and asset swaps, E.ON will focus its business on regulated energy networks and customer service, while RWE will take on the renewables businesses of both E.ON and Innogy.

The deal would be implemented in several steps, both companies said, adding that it required the approval of their boards, and of anti-trust and regulatory authorities.

Official and industry sources expect the deal to undergo scrutiny by European Union regulators as well as from Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, which did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Innogy, a network, renewable and retail energy utility, has been in turmoil since Chief Executive Peter Terium resigned in December and Chief Financial Officer Bernhard Guenther fell victim to a recent acid attack.

It has also has been the target of persistent takeover speculation, with sources saying recently that RWE had talked to France’s Engie and Italy’s Enel about a possible asset-swap deal.

Other firms linked to Innogy included Spain’s Iberdrola and Australian bank Macquarie, an acquisitive infrastructure investor.


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