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    Innogy Secures 'Safeguards'


Innogy has secured safeguards from the two companies that want to break it up and, with gritted teeth, expressed its support for their deal.

by: Mark Smedley

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions, News By Country, Germany

Innogy Secures 'Safeguards'

Innogy, the company 76.8%-owned by RWE which wants to break it up and part-sell to E.ON, said July 18 it has concluded two legally-binding agreements – one with E.ON, another with RWE – and that consequently it now “supports” the planned deal.

Announced March 13, the deal will see Innogy’s energy retail and network businesses taken over by E.ON - but gas storage, renewables and Austria assets will be re-absorbed into RWE.

The new safeguard agreements call for the planned deal be implemented in a "transparent process in which all employees will be treated fairly and as equally as possible" regardless of whom they currently work for. Essen will the new E.ON’s headquarters, as it is today for Innogy. The latter's CEO Uwe Tigges said: “Considering the fact that Innogy is being taken over, we negotiated the best possible deal for our employees. The agreement is also in the interest of our customers, shareholders, and other stakeholders.”

Innogy finance chief Bernhard Gunther, who is off work recovering after being almost blinded in an acid attack on March 4 by unknown assailants, told German business newspaper Handelsblatt of anger among Innogy's 40,000 employees at how its majority owner RWE had treated it. His post has been filled on an interim basis by Innogy chief operating officer Hans Bunting.

Innogy shareholders have until July 25 to decide on a voluntary public takeover offer, in cash, by E.ON for their shares. Innogy said it will remain independent until the closing of the transaction; E.ON and RWE have said that may be achieved by end-2019New E.ON’s future leadership team will be announced in 2019 at the earliest, the three companies said July 18.

It's believed E.ON and RWE struck the March 13 deal quickly to outsmart other presumed predators of Innogy, such as France's EDF or Italy's Enel.