Economic affairs minister Maria van der Hoeven is concerned about the future of the country’s two biggest power concerns Essent and Nuon, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Friday.
Both companies are attractive takeover targets for foreign firms after merger talks failed for the third time recently, Van der Hoeven told the paper.
The minister fears that a potential buyer may drive down the takeover price by playing the two companies off against each other and warns the local government shareholders not to allow this to happen.
Nevertheless, she will not intervene: “I’m not going to sit in the place of shareholders – I don’t have the authority to do so.”
Nuon has already made it clear that it will now seek a foreign partner and while Essent has not yet made a public announcement about its plans, it is likely to do the same, the FD says. Confirmation could come after its shareholders meeting on June 27.
Both firms are currently fully-owned by local and provincial authorities.
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