E.ON close to selling domestic regional suppliers

25 August 2009 - German energy giant E.ON has agreed on a sale price of EUR2.9bn ($4bn) for Thuga, its holding company with minority stakes in 90 municipal energy suppliers across Germany.

According to Datamonitor, the move, which is in line with the recent trend of utilities to consolidate asset holdings and reduce debt and spurred by antitrust concerns from the European Commission, is a sensible one, and could leave the German utility free to consolidate its position in new markets.

Thuga's net income in 2008 was EUR270m, on sales of EUR630m from minority stakes in 90 municipal suppliers of gas, electricity and water across Germany. Last year, the Thuga Group supplied 2.9m natural gas customers, 3.5m electricity customers and 1m water customers.

The agreed price for Thuga is lower than previous analyst estimates says Datamonitor, but significantly it does not include four of E.ON's stakes in local utilities, which it has decided to keep for the time being.

The group buying Thuga consists of Integra, a consortium of three regional utilities, and the Kom/9 consortium, which consists of a further 45 German municipal utilities.

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