Innogy denies media reports on sale to rivals

A report by respected German magazine, Der Spiegel, on the potential sale of Innogy, has been denied by the company’s owners.

The report asserted that Innogy’s supervisory board would discuss a possible sale to rivals Iberdrola or Enel at its next meeting in March.

Also up for discussion, according to the magazine, is the potential for continuation of the expansion strategy pursued by former chief executive Peter Terium, who left the group in December after a profit warning.
“Contrary to the claims made by Spiegel, there will be no discussion whatsoever about any scenarios with regard to a sale of the company at the supervisory board meeting of Innogy on March 6,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Sources previously told Reuters that Engie and Enel had held talks with Innogy, which has a market value of ($21.4bn), and that Iberdrola was sounding out M&A options in Europe.

Spiegel said Innogy’s supervisory board could decide to sell parts of the businesses that were bought under Terium’s leadership and agree a savings programme for the remaining group, in which RWE owns a 76.8 per cent stake.

Innogy last month said it was examining potential cost cuts, adding that it would provide further details along with annual results on March 12.

“The supervisory board has highlighted the need for a bigger focus on cost discipline and a focused growth and investment strategy. Those are the issues that will be discussed at the supervisory board’s upcoming meeting,” Innogy said.

Iberdrola declined to comment. Its chairman this week ruled out big deals over the next five years unless there was a good target without the need for cash or a capital increase, while Enel Chief Executive Francesco Starace in November said it was not interested in doing large M&A deals and was also not interested in Innogy.

A spokeswoman for RWE confirmed previous comments saying that it, too, called for greater cost discipline at Innogy while welcoming, in general, the group’s strategy.à‚ 

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