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RWE 'to acquire E.ON's and Innogy's renewables assets in September'

Complex asset-swap deal between the three German energy companies, first announced in March last year, is set to close next month, says E.ON

The complex asset-swap deal first unveiled in March last year — under which German energy company RWE is to acquire renewables-focused utility Innogy and the renewable-energy assets of utility E.ON, with E.ON taking on RWE’s energy networks and retail business — is to be concluded in September, according to financial results published by E.ON.

The €43bn deal has been held up by an in-depth European Commission (EC) competition investigation, which is provisionally due to be concluded on 20 September, according to the EC website.

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The EC launched the probe in March into E.ON’s taking over of RWE’s retail business because it was “ concerned that the remaining competition would be insufficient to constrain the market power of the combined entity and avoid price increases for consumers”.

E.ON seems convinced that the investigation will give the go-ahead for the deal.

“We’re very confident that we’ll obtain the EU’s approval as planned and thus to close the transaction this September,” wrote E.ON chief executive Johannes Teyssen, in a note to shareholders in the company’s Q2 financial report.

If the deal is concluded next month, E.ON will become a company purely focused on energy networks and retail sales, while RWE will become a very large energy producer bundling the renewable generation assets of its Innogy subsidiary with those currently owned by E.ON (while keeping its massive coal and lignite-based generation activities.)

RWE, which already holds a majority stake in Innogy (it created the company in 2016 by spinning off its renewables assets), will also take a 16.7% stake in E.ON as part of the deal.

Even though E.ON is set to sell off its renewables assets, it reported improved adjusted EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) from its renewables unit in the Q2 report — which grew to €466m in the first half of 2019, up from €396m in the same period last year.

The company attributed this increase to income from three recently commissioned projects — the 400MW Rampion offshore wind farm in the English Channel, in which it owns a 50.1% stake; the 385MW Arkona project in the German Baltic Sea, which is a 50-50 joint venture with Equinor; and the 201MW Stella onshore project in southern Texas.

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