Morgan Stanley’s stake in PNE draws interest from EQT, Macquarie - report
"Courtesy of PNE WIND AG"
Morgan Stanley’s (NYSE:MS) 40% stake in German renewables company PNE AG (ETR:PNE3) has grabbed the eye of various potential suitors, among them Swedish private equity firm EQT AB (STO:EQT) and Australian investment bank Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG), Bloomberg reports.
The US investment bank has also sounded out interest in the shareholding among various strategic investors, such as British oil and gas major BP Plc (LON:BP) and German renewables company BayWa r.e. AG, according to insiders cited by the news agency, who cautioned that it could not be certain whether any of the reported parties would go for a bid.
Shares in PNE were trading 0.43% lower at EUR 23.10 as of 0931 CET in Frankfurt on Tuesday. The company’s market capitalisation stands at about EUR 1.77 billion (USD 1.85bn).
Morgan Stanley, which acquired its shareholding for EUR 4 per PNE share about three years ago, is said to be now seeking an exit at more than EUR 25 apiece.
The US bank unveiled its plan to launch preliminary talks on the sale of its entire stake in PNE in October.
The German company’s CEO Markus Lesser last week confirmed at a conference that PNE has attracted interest from several parties but a decision on a possible transaction would be made in February or March 2023.
Morgan Stanley currently holds a stake of 39.80%. The US financial services group decided to launch a bid to take the German business private in 2019. The transaction, however, faced opposition from some of PNE’s shareholders and the suitor failed to complete the proposed go-private deal.
PNE is focused on onshore and offshore wind farm development but also offers photovoltaic, electricity storage and power-to-X technologies. The company in November announced a plan to invest some EUR 1.6 billion by 2027 to expand its own portfolio of green energy capacity.