Utility takeover

Eyes on Uniper

Kohlekraftwerk Datteln ·
Uniper specializes in coal power. Source: dpa

RWE, Germany’s largest utility, could be muscling in on the takeover of its rival Uniper, which is currently trying to fend off an approach by Finnish energy firm Fortum. RWE is understood to be ready to snap up Uniper’s ailing German electricity production business from the Finns if the takeover succeeds.

RWE Chief Executive Rolf Martin Schmitz refused to comment on Uniper, the former fossil fuel arm of E.ON which was spun off and floated a year ago. However, he has regularly emphasized that his company is interested in acquiring gas and coal-fired power stations. RWE at an earlier stage had also considered a full takeover of Uniper, but was scared away by its nuclear business in Sweden.

Fortum, which is mainly interested in Uniper’s non-German business, denied any plans to break it up. “We’re not in talks with anyone about selling parts of Uniper,” Chief Executive Pekka Lundmark told Handelsblatt. He has also stressed that his company wants to be a “long-term investor.”

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