Noord-Brabant u-turn on Essent sale

The province of Noord-Brabant has decided after all to sell its 30.8% stake in the country’s biggest energy company Essent to Germany’s RWE.

Essent is owned by local and provincial governments who stand to benefit financially if the sale goes through.
On Friday it emerged that RWE might declare the takeover a success even if less than 80% of the shares are tendered.
This was enough to make five VVD councillors change their mind and vote in favour of the sale. They were concerned that the province would miss out on its share of the €9.3bn takeover price.
The decision means RWE is now assured of at least 87% of Essent’s shares.
Earlier in the week, economic affairs minister Maria van der Hoeven had urged councillors to delay taking a decision until legislation on separating the energy firms into production and supply companies had been completed.
Although the Netherlands is pressing ahead with the separation of energy supply and production, Europe has dropped plans to do so.
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