Monday 27 March 2023

Dutch energy company Eneco to be sold, ending months of dispute


Dutch energy company Eneco, which is currently owned by 53 local authorities including Rotterdam, will be sold to the private sector after all.

The company has issued a statement saying that the local authority shareholders and management board have reached agreement on the terms of the sale. The shareholders and board will ‘together take the steps in the short term towards the privatisation of the Eneco Group’.

Rotterdam had pushed for the sale of Eneco after its grid operations were sold off last year. Rotterdam, with 32%, is the biggest shareholder in Eneco. The Hague, which voted to hold on to its shares, is the second-largest with more than 16%.

If sold or floated Eneco could raise up to €3bn for its owners, most of which have tiny 1% or 2% stakes.

Shareholders in October voted by a large majority to sell the company but the boards called for either an IPO or a partial sale which would allow the company to continue focusing on renewable energy.

The two sides started mediation last month and have now ‘made clear commitments’ on a wide range of issues, including management pay, the statement said.

The Financieele Dagblad said in January that Shell was making preparations to bid for green energy firm. Other potential buyers include investment company HAL, pension fund PGGM, Japan’s Mitsubishi, Austrian energy group Vebund, private equity group CVC and French energy giant Engie, the FD said.

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