Fortum has followed up the sale of its Finnish grid business two years ago by offloading it Swedish grid business to a group of Swedish pension funds and Canada’s Borealis.

The $6.9bn (€6.6bn) deal follows a similar 2013 sale of its Finnish utility for €2.55bn as it completes it move out of power distribution, and looks to focus on its core business.
In common with other European utilities, Fortum is attempting to reduce debt.

“After the divestment of its distribution businesses Fortum will concentrate on the growth and development of our core businesses, based on our competences: CO2-free hydro and nuclear power generation and efficient combined heat and power production,” said Timo Karttinen, interim chief executive.

FT reports that Fortum is looking to eastern Europe and Russia in particular for future growth. It is one of the European companies most exposed to Russia and in December signed deals on nuclear and hydroelectric power with state-backed companies.

Canada’s Borealis holds a 50 per cent stake in the buyer consortium alongside the Swedish national pension funds AP1 and AP3 as well as Folksam, a local mutual insurance business.