Iberdrola's acquisition of Energy East in jeopardy

12th February 2008, Comments 0 comments

New York regulators have asked a judge to postpone hearings on Iberdrola's plans to acquire Energy East until the Spanish electricity company clears up rumours that it may soon be the target of a takeover bid by other European firms.

12 February 2008

MADRID - New York regulators have asked a judge to postpone hearings on Iberdrola's plans to acquire Energy East until the Spanish electricity company clears up rumours that it may soon be the target of a takeover bid by other European firms.

Iberdrola, Spain's second-biggest electricity supplier, announced in June that it had reached an agreement to acquire Energy East, which supplies electricity to New York and other parts of New England, for USD 4.5 billion. Regulators in other states have approved the deal and New York was also expected to give the green light in a hearings scheduled to begin on 25 February. However, attorneys representing the New York Public Service Commission (PSC), a regulatory body, have asked for the hearing to be postponed indefinitely because of doubts over the future ownership of Iberdrola.

"It is uncertain if Iberdrola will even continue to exist [if a takeover bid is launched]," the PSC attorneys wrote. "It may not be possible for this proceeding to go forward in the face of this uncertainty."

Last week, French electricity giant EDF confirmed that it had been in talks with Spanish constructor ACS over a possible bid for Iberdrola. Germany's E.ON has not denied rumours that it too may launch an offer for the power company. Citibank analysts, however, said yesterday that an E.ON bid for Iberdrola is unlikely after it got burnt attempting to acquire Endesa.

[Copyright EL PAÍS / ANGELES ESPINOSA 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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