Essent sale to RWE more unlikely

The €9.3bn sale of Holland’s biggest power firm Essent to Germany’s RWE is becoming increasingly unlikely, Trouw reports on Friday.

Councillors in Noord-Brabant province, who control 30% of the shares, are ever more doubtful about the deal, the paper says.
Of the three parties which control the council, only one – the Christian Democrats – fully supports the sale. In particular, opponents are concerned about RWE’s commitment to sustainable energy, the paper says.
The free-market Liberal party VVD, which first backed the sale, is now opposed. It is angry that national government wants to get its hands on the proceeds – which would total €2.3bn for Noord-Brabant.
And, the VVD says, the argument that Essent needs a partner has not been properly thought out. ‘Essent is a leader in sustainable energy and we want RWE to take that over. But our advisors say those aspects of the deal are very weak,’ VVD leader Mieke Geeraedts told the paper.
Nuclear power
Meanwhile, the Financieele Dagblad says that Essent’s plan to give economic ownership of its nuclear power plant Borssele to RWE have not been well received.
Essent says that giving RWE the risks and profits associated with Borssele, but not the legal ownership, would solve objections to the fact that the Netherlands’ only nuclear power station is ending up in foreign hands.
But initial reactions to the plan range from ‘undesirable’ to ‘absolutely unthinkable’, the paper says. Energy firm Delta, which jointly owns Borssele with Essent, is looking into the legal implications.

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