Energy war for control of Endesa set to hot up

27th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

27 February 2006, MADRID — Gas Natural is expected to raise its bid for Endesa, Spain's biggest electricity company, to beat a rival EUR 29 billion offer from German energy company E.ON.

27 February 2006

MADRID — Gas Natural is expected to raise its bid for Endesa, Spain's biggest electricity company, to beat a rival EUR 29 billion offer from German energy company E.ON.

Gas Natural is thought to be preparing to offer between EUR 27.50 and EUR 28 a share, having delayed its 2005 results publication until Tuesday to issue the new bid.

The company has declined to comment.

Gas Natural’s EUR23.4 billion cash-and-shares bid for Endesa was bettered last week by an offer by E.ON.

Endesa’s board has rejected both offers as too low, but the bid battle took a another twist when the Spanish Government passed a decree enabling an energy regulator to prevent foreign takeovers of Spanish energy companies.

In response, the European Commission has threatened to take Spain to the European Court of Justice for breaking European laws.

José Montilla, the industry minister, has claimed Endesa had broken strict rules governing takeover bids.

He has asked the Spanish regulators, the CNMV, to investigate whether E.ON negotiated a deal with Endesa before making its offer.

Rafael Miranda, the chief executive of Endesa, denied reaching any agreement with E.ON executives, although he admitted meeting them in December to discuss a bid.

The Government has backed Gas Natural’s bid despite the Court for the Defence of Competition saying that its bid would do “irreparable” harm to competition in domestic energy.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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