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Wed, Apr 04, 2007 - Page 10 News List

E.ON shares spike after deal to drop Endesa bid


The price of shares in E.ON, the biggest German power supplier, soared 6.51 percent to 108.80 euros at the start of trading yesterday after the announcement the day before that it was dropping its takeover bid for Spanish electricity supplier Endesa.

After trying to get its hands on Endesa for more than a year, E.ON announced late on Monday that it was ceding victory to rival bidders Acciona of Spain and Enel of Italy.

In return, E.ON would buy assets from Endesa worth about 10 billion euros (US$13 billion), the three partners agreed.

The decision marks the end of a more than year-long battle by the German group to win control of Endesa and opens the way for a takeover of the utility by its biggest shareholders, Acciona and Enel.

E.ON said it had agreed with Enel and Acciona that if they gained control of Endesa, E.ON would receive a "significant portfolio" of assets in France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Turkey worth about 10 million euros.

Enel CEO Fulvio Conti said that a new takeover offer to Endesa shareholders would be made "immediately" which would be "clearer and on better terms."

In Madrid, Acciona said that a joint takeover bid for Endesa would be launched with Enel "very soon."

Last week, the Spanish market regulator had ruled that the two firms, which control 46 percent of Endesa, should wait six months from the end of the acceptance period for E.ON's bid before launching their own bid.

E.ON's 42-billion-euro bid, which was widely expected to fail, was set to expire yesterday.

"Today, E.ON signed an agreement with Enel and Acciona in order to put an end to the substantial uncertainty surrounding the takeover bid for Endesa," E.ON said in a statement. "Therefore, E.ON will not carry out the takeover bid designed to acquire a majority stake in Endesa."

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