September 3 (Renewables Now) - The privatisation of Dutch utility Eneco is in progress and a potential buyer of the company is to be announced around Christmas, the company said in its first-half financial report on Monday.
A large majority of the 53 Dutch cities that own Eneco voted to privatise the company in February, paving the way for the planned transaction in May.
Eneco, which produces about half of its power from renewable energy sources, expects the sale process to be completed next year. In the provided update, the company said the pre-qualification and non-binding offer bidding phases of the sale have been completed and the process is now in the binding offer phase.
Dutch oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell Plc (AMS:RDSA), in partnership with pension fund service provider PGGM, is the main contender in the race for Eneco, while Australia’s Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX:MQG) and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp (TYO:8058) are also among the utility’s suitors, Reuters reported previously. Energy majors Total SA (EPA:FP) of France and Enel SpA (BIT:ENEL) of Italy had also set eyes on the business but later dropped out of the contest.
Eneco aims to expand its available sustainable production capacity to 2,200 MW by 2022. According to analysts quoted by Reuters, its sale could fetch some EUR 3 billion (USD 3.28bn).
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.094)