EON, Sabanci Said to Be in Talks to Sell Stake in Enerjisa

  • Sabanci Holdings shares advance on news of potential sale
  • Enerjisa has renewable energy, power-grid operations

EON SE and partner Haci Omer Sabanci Holding AS are in talks with Chinese investors to sell a stake in Turkey’s biggest private energy company to improve its debt and equity balance, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The German power utility and Istanbul-based Sabanci Holding may sell a stake in the equally owned Enerjisa Enerji AS or in one of its units, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plan is confidential. The companies intend to sell a minority stake to one or more Chinese investors and each party may eventually own as much as a third of the company, the people said.

“Enerjisa is continuously optimizing its financial and operational performance and its strategic positioning in the market,” Sabanci Holding said in response to questions. Christian Drepper, a spokesman for Dusseldorf-based EON, declined to comment. The owners hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. last year to explore asset sales at Enerjisa or at its units, people with knowledge of the matter said April 16.

Sabanci Holding advanced as much as 2.9 percent to 8.2 liras in Istanbul trading, the biggest gain this year. EON fell as much as 1 percent in Frankfurt. Enerjisa has 2,800 megawatts of production capacity, almost half of it from renewable resources. It operates three distribution grids serving a quarter of the country’s 75 million people in Istanbul’s Asian side and in the Ankara and Adana regions, according to its website.

“The partial divestiture may improve the financial and operational performance of the asset,” Mustafa Kucukmeral, an analyst at Is Investment in Istanbul, said by e-mail. A potential sale may also “crystallize the value of Enerjisa, strengthen financial leverage of the asset and improve the cash position of Sabanci Holding, which may result in a lower discount attached by the market.”

‘Cut Debt’

Enerjisa is reviewing its asset structure and “considering all options, including new borrowings, bond sales and selling stakes in units to financial partners to cut and refinance debt” before an initial public offering planned for late 2017, Chairman Mehmet Gocmen said on Oct. 22. The company has made investments of $11 billion since 2005, financing 60 percent of that from loans, Gocmen said.

The company had total gross debt of 13.5 billion liras ($4.4 billion) at the end of September, 53 percent of it in euros, according to Deutsche Bank AG analysis published in November. The Turkish currency has dropped 19 percent against the euro in the past 12 months.

Closely held Enerjisa is valued around 9.2 billion liras, Oytun Altasli, an analyst at Wood & Co. said in an e-mailed note on Jan. 14. The company’s sales will probably rise 14 percent to 13.2 billion liras in 2016, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, may climb 17 percent to 1.65 billion liras, she said. Net income may increase 33 percent to 156 million liras.

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