Vattenfall makes €8.5bn bid for Nuon

Swedish utility Vattenfall has agreed to buy 49 per cent of the shares in Dutch peer Nuon and to buy the remaining stake in the coming six years, the two firm said in a joint statement.

“Vattenfall has made an all cash offer of €8.5bn ($10.98bn) enterprise value for 100 per cent of the shares, equalling €10.3bn for the equity of Nuon’s production and supply company after 2008 dividends,” Vattenfall said in a statement.

It said Nuon’s grid company Alliander was not included in this transaction.

The transaction is subject to the approval of at least 80 per cent of the shareholders. The partners have agreed that Vattenfall acquires initially 49 per cent of the shares. The remaining 51 per cent of the shares will be acquired in the coming six years under fixed terms.

Both companies said they recognise and respect the regulatory aspects that are associated with the transaction including the finalization of the process around the unbundling plan of Nuon by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. Also, the partnership requires merger control clearance by the European Commission.

Nuon and Vattenfall expect to complete the closing of this transaction in the second quarter of 2009.

E.ON plans €1.5bn savings after taking charges

E.ON AG, Germany’s biggest utility, plans €1.5bn ($1.9bn) in cost savings after warning earnings will be crimped by €3.3bn of writedowns related to its US and Italian operations.

The utility will take a €1.8bn fair-value charge on European operations and an impairment charge of €1.5bn on goodwill for its US Midwest unit, according to a statement released to the media.

The German utility said that it wants to cut costs in procurement, IT and administration. E.ON wants to boost earnings from Nordic power production, UK and German energy supplies.

Italy’s Enel acquires full control of Spanish electrical utility Endesa

Italian utility giant Enel has reached a deal to purchase 25 per cent of Endesa – Spain’s leading electricity company – from construction group Acciona, bringing its total stake to 92 per cent.

Enel will pay €11.1bn ($14.2bn) for Acciona’s stake, including $8.2bn in cash and roughly $2.9bn in renewable energy assets that have a capacity to generate 2104 MW of electricity.

As part of the deal, Endesa’s board agreed to pay shareholders €6.24bn in dividends, or €5.9 per share.

Structure of “New RWE” finalized

German utility RWE AG has announced that its supply and distribution business is being fundamentally restructured and streamlined along national lines, as a response to burgeoning competition in the European energy market.

In Germany, its two regional companies, RWE Rhein Ruhr and RWE Westfalen Weser Ems, are to be merged to form two public limited companies, one for supply and one for distribution.

The role of the intermediate holding company, RWE Energy, will be discontinued as a result. Dr. Juergen Grossmann, CEO of RWE AG, said: “Despite anti-trust restrictions, RWE wants to grow in Germany. We intend to significantly increase our market share with an expansion of the German retail business, innovative products and first-class service.”

Dr. Ulrich Jobs will be responsible for the Group’s operating business outside Germany. Operations will in future be aligned more closely with the specific market conditions in RWE’s growth regions.

Dr. Jobs will oversee all activities in Central and Eastern Europe, and the division “Netherlands/Belgium” – plus the divisions “UK” (RWE npower).

Voith Hydro and RWE Innogy to join forces

Voith Hydro and RWE Innogy have announced the formation of the joint venture of Voith Hydro Ocean Current Technologies, which aims to accelerate the development, manufacture and marketing of ocean current technologies.

Within the framework of its venture capital activities, RWE Innogy will make a significant capital investment and hold 20 per cent in the new company. Voith Hydro will be the majority shareholder with 80 per cent.

The total investment guaranteed by both partners over the next few years equals over €30m ($38.5m). The establishment of the joint venture is subject to approval.

Kyocera to build new solar panel plant in China

Japan’s Kyocera is to build a new plant for solar modules in Tianjin, China, as part of its plan to more than double annual output of solar cells to 650 MW in fiscal year 2011 from fiscal 2008.

Upon completion, the plant will quadruple annual production capacity at Kyocera (Tianjin) Solar Energy from the current 60 MW to 240 MW, according to Kyocera.

The construction of the new plant, with a floor space of 28 800 m2, will be completed by next spring.

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Caribbean carve-up: Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) has purchased a 50 per cent equity stake in the existing Caribbean portfolio of Marubeni Corporation (Marubeni), Japan’s largest trading company.

Consultancy combination: Redpoint Energy, the specialist energy consultancy, has formalized an agreement to collaborate with investment experts Trilemma UK.

Czech sell-off: NRG Energy has entered into an agreement to sell its 50 per cent ownership interest in Mibrag B.V. to a consortium of Severoceské doly Chomutov, Czech Republic’s largest brown coal miner and member of the CEZ Group, and J&T Group, a Czech investment company.

Mitsubishi makes it: Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), has received formal notification that it has successfully qualified for membership in the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) of the US in NEI’s “nuclear plant designer” category.

Polish purchase: EDF International, controlled by power giant EDF, and German electricity company EnBW is to acquire Polish energy generator Kogeneracja and take joint control of Polish power firm ERSA.

State sell-off: Polish businessman Zygmunt Solorz-Zak has allowed the Polish state to sell its stake in the power generating group ZE PAK, in which the businessman controls 46 per cent via his company Elektrim, to an investor chosen by the Ministry of Treasury.

Tratos takeover: Tratos Ltd., the UK distribution subsidiary of Electrical Cable Manufacturer Tratos Cavi of Italy, has completed its acquisition of North West Cables and its subsidiary Modular Wiring Systems.

Turbine trade: RWE Innogy has agreed a €2bn ($2.5bn) framework deal to buy 250 offshore wind turbines from Germany-based manufacturer REpower.

Turkish takeovers: Czech electricity company CEZ and Turkish energy and chemicals firm Akkok has acquired joint control of Turkish electricity company Akenerji Elektrik Uretim. Subsequently, CEZ and Akkok has acquired joint control of Turkish electricity company Sedas.