Fortum has launched a €8 billion takeover bid for Uniper after reaching a deal with E.ON over its shares in the company.
Fortum has offered €22 per share to all Uniper shareholders and has signed an agreement with E.ON under which E.ON will tender its 46.7 per cent shareholding in Uniper early in 2018.
However Uniper, a European power generator created by E.ON in 2016 when it split its business, is unlikely to view the deal favourably.
It noted earlier in September that it had not invited Fortum to make an offer, and that a takeover bid by Fortum would not be in line with its strategy.
Fortum says that the offer constitutes an opportunity for Uniper shareholders to take advantage of the company’s recent share price rise created by takeover speculation. E.ON said it welcomed Fortum’s offer “as an opportunity for Uniper shareholders to sell at a valuation level that reflects Uniper’s strong performance since its spin-off”.
“We consider Fortum as a responsible and reliable strategic partner to Uniper with excellent complementary businesses and capabilities,” said Dr Johannes Teyssen, Chairman of the Board of Management of E.ON.
Fortum has previously said that the takeover has strong rationale because “Uniper’s businesses are well aligned with Fortum’s core competencies, are close to Fortum’s home markets and are highly cash generative”. It would gain almost 40 GW of installed capacity, including hydropower, coal, gas and nuclear assets across Europe.
E.On would receive €3.76 billion for its Uniper stake. Under its agreement with Fortum, the Finnish company will have the right to sell to E.ON any Uniper shares it acquires if E.ON decides not to tender its shares in the firm.
Uniper has stressed its desire to remain independent and said in a statement that it would analyse and assess the takeover offer.
Fortum says it will “focus on being an active, supportive and reliable shareholder…and a constructive strategic partner” to Uniper.