Fortum to use unspent Uniper cash on district heating projects

Finland’s Fortum is to use finance originally intended for a majority buy-out of Germany’s Uniper, to instead invest in district heating opportunities across Europe and Russia.

The company recently failed in its bid to win majority control of Uniper, receiving only a 47-per cent stake after bidding $9.8bn for a 100-per cent stake. The offer is still subject to competition and regulatory approvals. Fortum expects to finalize the transaction in mid-2018.
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While this process is ongoing, Fortum seeks to acquire new assets, according to chief executive Pekka Lundmark.

“We are looking at different (acquisition) opportunities,” he said, when asked how Fortum will use the funds that weren’t utilized in its Uniper bid.

Lundmark declined to identify specific target companies, but said Fortum was looking at a variety of possible acquisitions and that district heating providers were among those being considered.

Possible targets will be in the Nordics, Russia, Latvia, Poland and India, all of which are Fortum’s core markets, he added.

In February, following the outcome of the Uniper bid, Fortum announced acquisitions of three Latvian district heat producers, BK Energija, Sprino and Energy and Communication.

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