A Franco-German plan to create an alliance dubbed the Airbus of energy is under way as two of Europe’s biggest gas and electricity companies hold talks. Engie, the French energy group, is in discussions with RWE, its German counterpart, over a tie-up that would have implications for Britain, where both groups are big players in the energy market. President Macron took power in France this month after pledging to create a single European energy market. He also wants to strengthen Franco-German co-operation ahead of a relaunch of the European Union. Mr Macron’s predecessor, François Hollande, had sought to bring together European energy groups, just as aircraft makers joined to form Airbus. One scenario would involve RWE swapping its 76.79 per cent stake in Innogy, its renewables and network business, for a minority stake in Engie. Innogy owns Npower, which claims 6.5 million UK customers. This would give RWE a holding of about 28 per cent in Engie. The French state’s holding in Engie would fall from 26.85 per cent to about 18 per cent.
Times 20th May 2017 read more »