RWE is set to play the long game in making a bid for assets owned by Uniper, an offshoot of German power sector rival E.ON.

Reuters reports that RWE is likely to buy Uniper assets that Fortum sells after the Finnish firm’s planned $9.5bn takeover, rather than launch a counterbid, investors and M&A sources said.
Uniper
Fortum bid for Uniper last month to try to snap up a 46.65 percent stake E.ON wants to divest, however the Finnish firm is mainly interested in Uniper’s assets in Sweden and Russia and less in its gas and coal-fired power plants, which would be a better fit for RWE, the sources said.

“It is much cheaper for RWE to wait it out than embarking on a bidding war with Fortum,” a person familiar with the deal said, adding that RWE would essentially be “cherry-picking”.

RWE declined to comment on its plans, but could easily sell stakes in its network and renewable unit Innogy, in which it still holds 76.8 per cent, to pay for parts of Uniper, the sources said.

Uniper, which is opposed to the deal, hopes that the Finnish government could shy away given expected ratings downgrades for Fortum, one of the people said. But Finland’s Economy Minister earlier this week said it supported the deal.