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Uniper rejects Fortum’s €3.76bn uninvited takeover bid

EBR Staff Writer Published 21 September 2017

German energy company Uniper has declined Finnish state-controlled firm Fortum’s takeover offer of €3.76bn while terming it as unsolicited.

Fortum has been in advance talks with German utility E.ON to buy the latter’s remaining stake of 46.65% in Uniper.

The Finnish firm has made its move in connection with a probable voluntary public takeover offer by paying Uniper shareholders a price of €22 in cash for each share.

Uniper CEO Klaus Schäfer said that Fortum’s takeover offer clearly did not align with the company’s strategy.

Uniper stated: “Uniper is currently not in discussions with either of Fortum or E.ON in regard to the unsolicited and conditional transaction proposals described in their respective statements.

“If and when appropriate, the Supervisory and Management Boards of Uniper will evaluate any forthcoming specific proposal in detail and in the interest of the company and all its stakeholders.”

Fortum said that it was looking to buy E.ON’s stake as Uniper’s business and competence is highly complementary to it. It added that Uniper makes an excellent fit to its business by citing examples like the Swedish portfolio of the German firm which is primarily based on CO2-free hydro and nuclear power.

Fortum president and CEO Pekka Lundmark said: “We intend to be a long-term investor in Uniper and we take our responsibility.

“We are convinced that a close cooperation of the two companies would render significant benefits for all stakeholders as there are many strategic and operational touchpoints between the portfolios of Fortum and Uniper.”

Uniper was founded in 2016 following the separation of E.ON’s fossil fuel business into a new entity. Unlike its parent company E.ON, Uniper is into operation of conventional power generation assets like hydropower, natural gas and coal.

In September 2016, E.ON sold a majority stake of 53.35% in the Uniper to shareholders through a spin-off to list the latter on the Frankfurt stock exchange.

Image: Uniper has turned down a takeover offer from Fortum. Photo: courtesy of Uniper SE.