Japanese Duo Scoop Dutch Utility
Mitsubishi Corporation and Chubu have reached an agreement on the proposed sale of all shares in Dutch utility Eneco for a total equity value of €4.1 ($4.5)bn. Eneco said November 25 that the offer was the best for the shareholders and all other stakeholders of Eneco, including its employees, "including price and deal certainty."
It was supported "unanimously by the board of management and supervisory board of Eneco, who consider it to be in the best interest of Eneco and all of its stakeholders."
Among the unsuccessful bids was a joint one from Anglo-Dutch Shell and pension fund PGGM, which was launched in January, describing the acquisition target as a "perfect fit."
Mitsubishi Corporation (80%) and Chubu (20%) will fund the proposed transaction fully from cash resources, Eneco said. They have a "long-term horizon and are in full support of strengthening Eneco's sustainable strategy. The consortium will further expand the business of Eneco internationally," it said.
They plan to make Eneco the European centre for all Mitsubishi Corporation's energy-related activities. Mitsubishi has "great ambitions in the area of energy transition," and Chubu is the third largest Japanese energy company. Mitsubishi Corporation plans to transfer part of its 400+ MW Dutch offshore wind activities to Eneco.
Eneco remains intact as an integrated and independent Dutch energy company, headquartered in Rotterdam, and its culture and corporate identity remain unchanged, as do the employees' terms. But its credit profile (currently BBB+ under S&P) is expected to benefit from the financial strength of the new shareholders, it said.
Ruud Sondag will resign as CEO upon completion of the proposed transaction and will remain as senior adviser. He will be succeeded by a Dutch CEO. Eneco chief customer officer Hans Peters and a representative of Mitsubishi will join the current board of management. The 44 Dutch municipal shareholders will be given the opportunity to take a final decision on the sale of their shares.