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EON Sells 51% Stake in Energy-to-Waste Unit to Sweden’s EQT

EON SE sold 51 percent of its energy-to-waste unit to Swedish buyout firm EQT Partners AB for about 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) as Germany’s largest utility disposes of assets to cut debt.

EON, which aborted the sale of the unit earlier this year after failing to get high enough bids, will keep 49 percent of the venture after selling the stake to EQT’s fund Infrastructure II, according to today’s statement.

“With the transaction, EON will have achieved more than 14 billion euros of its target to generate 15 billion euros through portfolio measures by the end of 2013,” the Dusseldorf-based utility said in a statement. Chief Executive Officer Johannes Teyssen said on Nov. 13 the company had raised about 13 billion euros.

Sabine Meixner, a spokeswoman for EON, declined to comment on the price.

“We want to guide EON Energy from Waste to a successful future as an independent company,” Teyssen said in the statement.

For EQT the venture is a “mid-term investment of probably five to seven years” Juergen Rauen, industrial adviser at EQT, who will become chairman of the new venture, said in a phone interview.

EON expects to close the transaction, which is subject to antitrust approval, in the first quarter of 2013.

EQT Partners, German utility MVV Energie AG, Morgan Stanley’s infrastructure fund and SembCorp Industries Ltd., a Singapore-based energy and water company, had made offers for the unit, people familiar with the process said in June.

The unit operates 18 incineration plants with a capacity of about 4 million tons, generating about 2,100 gigawatt hours of electricity and about 2,800 gigawatt hours of heat, according to its website. The unit had 544 million euros in sales in 2011.

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