FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) – E.ON’s move to spin off its power plants, aimed at ridding it of billions of euros in losses, could turn Germany’s top utility into a takeover target for deep-pocketed infrastructure investors keen on the steady returns of its power and gas grids.
The spin-off marks a fundamental shift in how utilities brace themselves for the future as they move away from struggling power plants and towards renewables and energy efficiency in a bid to boost declining profits.
FRANKFURT, Nov 30 (Reuters) – Germany’s biggest utility E.ON
announced plans on Sunday to split in two and spin
off most of its power generation, energy trading and upstream
businesses, a drastic response to changes in the global energy
E.ON said it wanted to focus on its renewable activities,
regulated distribution networks and energy efficiency services,
citing “dramatically altered global energy markets, technical
innovation, and more diverse customer expectations”.
OFF THE COAST OF HELIGOLAND, Germany, Nov 14 (Reuters) – As
European governments start to curb offshore renewable power
subsidies, utilities, wind turbine makers and installers are
racing to cut costs to help the industry survive.
Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, wary of committing
billions of euros when budgets are tight, have announced subsidy
cuts in the past 18 months – a blow to the European offshore
wind industry which employs nearly 60,000 people.
FRANKFURT, Nov 13 (Reuters) – German utility RWE’s
sale of its oil and gas business DEA to Russian
billionaire Mikhail Fridman may take longer than expected,
adding to uncertainty over the fate of the 5.1 billion euro
($6.4 billion) deal.
The transaction, announced in March, coincided with
sanctions being imposed on Russia for its role in the Ukraine
crisis. This could complicate the sale process, which requires
approval from the 14 countries where DEA operates.
FRANKFURT, Nov 12 (Reuters) – Germany’s top utility E.ON
has posted a steep drop in profits at its business in
Russia, its most important foreign market, where the rouble has
slumped and the economy slowed due to the Ukraine conflict and
falling oil prices.
Russia – where E.ON sells electricity, gets most of its gas
supplies and owns a stake in a major gas field – has seen its
currency fall by more than a quarter this year
following Western economic sanctions over Ukraine.
FRANKFURT, Oct 30 (Reuters) – German chemicals group Wacker
Chemie more than doubled core earnings in the third
quarter, boosted by strong global demand for polysilicon, which
is used by the recovering solar sector in photovoltaic cells.
Emerging from a four-year crisis triggered by oversupply of
equipment and a decline in renewables subsidies, the solar
industry is experiencing rising demand that research firm IHS
says could increase panel installations by more than a fifth
this year and has lifted polysilicon prices 15 percent since the
start of the year.
FRANKFURT/MADRID, Oct 29 (Reuters) – E.ON is
asking bidders to submit binding offers for its Spanish business
by Nov. 3, in a sale likely to fetch as much as 2.2 billion
euros ($2.8 billion) to help Germany’s top utility cut debt,
three people familiar with the matter said.
Potential bidders include Australia’s Macquarie,
private equity firm CVC Capital Partners and Spain’s
largest utility Endesa, which is controlled by Italy’s
Enel, the sources told Reuters.
MILAN/FRANKFURT, Oct 28 (Reuters) – The sale of the Italian
assets of German energy group E.ON has hit another
hurdle, with the deadline for binding offers pushed back to late
November, four sources familiar with the matter said.
Germany’s biggest utility, which is seeking to offload its
Italian businesses to cut debt, had originally planned to
complete the deal in the second quarter of this year, according
to presentation slides obtained by Reuters, but Europe’s
depressed power market has prompted a series of delays.
FRANKFURT, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Hungary’s MOL Group
said it would be interested in re-entering talks to buy RWE’s
oil and gas unit DEA if a 5.1 billion euro
($6.5 billion) sale to Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman falls
Investors and analysts have expressed concern about the
deal since it was first announced in March, pointing to growing
tensions between Europe and Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
FRANKFURT, Oct 16 (Reuters) – MOL Group would be
interested in re-entering talks to buy RWE’s DEA unit
if a sale to Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman
fails to secure British approval, the Hungarian energy firm said
RWE struck a deal in March to sell DEA for 5.1 billion euros
($6.52 billion) to a Fridman-led group of investors but warned
two weeks ago that it was still lacking approval from the