Spanish power giant Endesa has set out its defence strategy in the face of an unwelcome takeover offer from smaller Spanish energy rival Gas Natural.

In a statement this week Rafael Miranda Robredo, chief executive of Endesa said: “Endesa offers higher value and strong growth with less risk than the offer made by Gas Natural, which is completely unacceptable, is at a ridiculous price, offers very little cash, no takeover premium and also the stock component has a huge risk.”

The statement adds that a takeover by Gas Natural would destroy value with the proposed sale of strategic assets, destroying the position both in Spain and across Europe.

Robredo adds that an independent Endesa can deliver more growth from markets with high potential growth, such as Spain and Portugal or Italy and the group has a five year growth target for EBITDA of 10 – 11%.

Jose – Luis Palomo, chief financial officer, characterised the Gas Natural bid as cheap and hostile, criticising the cash component as very small with the cash coming from the proposed sale of Endesa assets while Gas Natural shares, Endesa says, are over valued, delivering a high level of risk.