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RWE pursuing E.On deal ‘with resolve’ as Macquarie enters the fray

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German power giants RWE and E.On confirmed they have reached a contractual agreement for their proposed major asset exchange, but a late expression of interest from Macquarie could yet scupper the deal.

In a statement to the market on Friday RWE said the duo had reached an agreement within the scope of the extensive asset swap first revealed last month.

However RWE further added that it would continue to pursue the transaction as planned and implement it “with resolve” despite confirmation from innogy that a third party had expressed an interest in acquiring certain business activities.

That announcement, also published on Friday, revealed that an unnamed third party had been granted due diligence over innogy’s Czech Republic business, and that it had received expressions of interest in its business activities in the renewables, retail, and grid and infrastructure fields.

The company said those discussions were at an early stage and it remains open whether or not terms will be offered for those business units.

But while neither innogy nor RWE named the interested parties, Reuters reported that it was none other than global investor Macquarie that has thrown a spanner in the works.  

The Australian firm has been on the charge for green energy-related purchases of late, famously concluding its contentious purchase of the Green Investment Bank last year before pledging to invest £3 billion in the green economy.

Nevertheless, RWE said it was convinced that the transaction it has agreed with E.On represents the “biggest potential” to rise to the challenges of the energy transition in networks, retail and generation.

“As innogy’s main shareholder, RWE believes that value can be maximised if two clearly focused companies play a significant role in the international energy markets in the future. The transaction gives shareholders and employees the brightest prospects over the long term while strengthening Germany as an industrial and business focused country. Therefore, breaking up and selling innogy in pieces is not an alternative for RWE,” it said.

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