German energy group Uniper rejects €8.05-bn takeover bid from Finland's Fortum
22 November 2017
German energy group Uniper SE today rejected a €8.05-billion ($9.45 billion) takeover bid from Finland's Fortum Oyj, saying that the offer significantly undervalued the company and lacked key commitments for its future.
Uniper said that both its management and supervisory boards agree that Fortum's offer is not in the company's best interest, nor in the interest of its shareholders, employees, and further stakeholders.
Klaus Schaefer, Uniper's CEO, said, "Fortum's offer is unacceptable as it does not reflect Uniper's true value. In addition, there is no recognisable contribution to a better development perspective for Uniper. The offer document also does not clearly state what Fortum's true intentions are. Now begins the time for discussions."
In September Fortum tabled its €8.05-billion bid for Uniper after the Finnish group signed an agreement with Uniper's earlier parent company Eon to buy its 46.7-per cent stake in Uniper for around €3.8 billion.
E.ON has the right to decide to tender its Uniper stake in early 2018,
Fortum had offered to pay €22 ($25.84) per share for the remaining 53.3 per cent stake, valuing whole of Uniper at €8.05 billion.
Uniper yesterday advised its shareholders to reject Fortum's offer saying that the price does not reflect the company's true value.
''The offer price is simply not attractive,'' Klaus Schaefer said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. ''There's a limited strategic benefit for us as Uniper and the intentions of what Fortum really wants to do is unclear.''
Uniper said that the average control premium for cash offers for takeovers in Europe is around 35 per cent and hence the offer price should be more than €27 per share.
''The company has performed exceptionally well since becoming independent, is financially sound and makes a significant contribution to the security of supply with gas and power in Europe,'' Bernhard Reutersberg, the company's supervisory board chairman, said in a statement. ''Fortum's offer puts the successful future development of Uniper at risk.''
Uniper was created last year by the separation of E.ON's fossil fuel assets into a separate company and was listed in September 2016.
Uniper's prized assets are its hydro and nuclear power in Sweden and its gas plants in Russia and a successful deal would triple Fortum's power generation capacity and expand its assets from the UK to Russia.