Brabant gives in to Essent sale

16th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

The provincial council of Brabant has approved the sale of energy concern Essent to German energy giant RWE.

THE NETHERLANDS - The provincial council of Brabant has approved the sale of energy concern Essent to German energy giant RWE. Three weeks ago the sale of a 30-percent-stake was blocked by the conservative VVD.

Many VVD members on the provincial council have now backed the sale. They changed their stance after RWE said it would accept a 54-percent-stake instead of the 80 percent it had been seeking.

As a result, RWE no longer needed Brabant's shares, threatening to deprive the province of both funds and leverage.

The plan to sell a Dutch energy concern to a foreign one had prompted widespread concern. Among those to urge the provincial council to block the sale were the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers, VNO-NCW, and several opposition parties.

The three parties in the governing coalition say the employers' call comes too late, and should have been addressed to the shareholders. This view is also held by Economic Affairs Minister Maria van der Hoeven.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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