Fortum is launching a €8bn takeover offer for Uniper after the Finnish group secured the agreement of the German utility’s biggest shareholder and former parent company. Uniper’s management is firmly against the takeover offer but Eon, the utility that fully owned Uniper until last year, has signed an agreement with Fortum to tender its 46.7 per cent stake, worth €3.8bn, early next year. Shares in Uniper, which started trading at €10 a year ago when it was spun off from Eon, had risen to €23.34 on Tuesday due to heavy takeover speculation, ahead of Fortum’s offer of €22 per share. Fortum’s attempt to become Uniper’s controlling shareholder is the latest deal in a big restructuring of Europe’s power industry. Both Eon and its domestic rival RWE have broken themselves up in two while Fortum itself is flush with cash after selling off its Nordic electricity grids. Uniper has a broad range of assets with Fortum particularly prizing its hydro and nuclear power plants in Sweden and its gas plants in Russia. Analysts and bankers have speculated that Fortum may want to break Uniper up and sell off some of its other assets, such as coal, gas and hydro plants in Germany.
FT 26th Sept 2017 read more »