The local authority shareholders in Dutch energy company Eneco have agreed to sell their stakes to a Japanese consortium made up of Mitsubishi Corporation and Chubu for €4.1bn.
The deal means the last Dutch energy firm in public hands is moving to the private sector, and that Rotterdam, with 32% of Eneco shares, will benefit to the tune of over €1.3bn.
‘The consortium has made the best offer for the shareholders and all other stakeholders of Eneco, including its employees, with the best terms and conditions including price and deal certainty,’ Eneco said in a statement.
‘Mitsubishi Corporation and Chubu are shareholders with a long-term horizon and are in full support of strengthening Eneco’s sustainable strategy.’
Eneco will remain headquartered in Rotterdam and its branding will remain intact, the statement said. The company will also become the European centre for all Mitsubishi Corporation’s energy-related activities.
Mitsubishi Corporation has ‘great ambitions’ in the area of energy transition, and Chubu, the 3rd largest Japanese energy company with about 10.2 million retail customer contracts, focusses on non-fossil energy sources, the statement said.
Three other groups were known to be after Eneco – Rabobank and US private equity group KKR, a combination of pension fund PGGM and Shell, and investment company Macquarie Infrastructure.
The two other big Dutch energy firms, Nuon and Essent, were sold off years ago. Nuon was bought by Swedish state-owned company Vattenfall in 2009 for €10bn and Germany’s RWE bought Essent that same year for €8.3bn.