Regulator backs Gas Natural takeover of Endesa
21 December 2005, MADRID — Gas Natural, Spain's largest gas company, should get government approval for its EUR 21.7 billion takeover of Endesa, the country's biggest power firm, the nation's energy regulator said.
21 December 2005
MADRID — Gas Natural, Spain's largest gas company, should get government approval for its EUR 21.7 billion takeover of Endesa, the country's biggest power firm, the nation's energy regulator said.
The National Energy Commission backed the hostile takeover by Barcelona-based Gas Natural.
It said it completes a number of conditions in its offer for the nation's biggest power company.
The regulator's non-binding recommendations to the government, which has the final decision, bring the gas provider a step closer to gaining 11 million domestic power customers.
It would help to compensate for a falling share of its domestic gas market.
The merged company would create a national company which the Spanish government has already said would allow the country to compete with major European rivals.
When it launched the bid in September, Gas Natural agreed to sell between EUR 7-9 billion of Endesa's assets to Endesa's closest competitor, Iberdrola, to help appease regulators.
Endesa chairman Manuel Pizarro has rejected the bid, saying it was not interesting to Endesa investors.
Gas Natural, headed by chairman Salvador Gabarro, has a market value about one-half that of Endesa.
It is the fourth time in five years that major Spanish power companies have tried to merge. Three previous transactions were blocked.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news