9 December 2002 - Germany's giant utility group E.ON is to sell its utility services business Viterra as part of its focus on gas and power activities and expects to raise &euro750m ($757m) from the sale.
E.ON has recently acquired the UK generator and retailer Powergen as well as the UK retail assets of TXU Europe. It is currently awaiting a regulatory ruling on its proposed purchase of German gas supplier Ruhrgas.
Several private equity firms, including Guy Hands' Terra Firma Capital, have expressed interest in the Viterra business, which provides water and electricity billing services and rent collection to over 10 million homes in 28 countries. Other interested parties include U.K. services group Serco.
Last year, Viterra Energy Services grew 12 per cent to €418m, while operating profit jumped 11 per cent to €95m.
The Viterra Energy Services sale is seen as a prelude to the complete disposal of the Viterra property portfolio. E.ON's majority stake in Germany's speciality chemicals firm Degussa is also slated for sale, it added.