EON Keeps Assets Under Review Amid Report of Spain, Italy Exit

EON SE, the utility that this week completed a 20 billion-euro ($27 billion) disposal program, may be set for more sales as it turns away from southern Europe in favor of Russia and Germany, according to a report in Spiegel.

“We’re continuously reviewing the strategic options for optimizing our entire portfolio across our group,” Sabine Meixner, a spokeswoman for Germany’s biggest utility, said by phone from Dusseldorf, declining to elaborate on any plans.

EON concluded the earlier program, aimed at reducing debt, with the announcement on Dec. 17 of the sale of its Mitte unit for a net 610 million euros. Chief Executive Officer Johannes Teyssen told analysts about a month earlier that he didn’t rule out making further disposals once the planned asset sales were done. EON bought assets in Spain, Italy and France from an Acciona SA-led group for more than 11 billion euros in 2007.

Spiegel, which didn’t say where it got the information on EON’s plans to exit Spain and Italy, reported that Electricite de France may be interested in the southern European assets.

“If EON needs money to develop its other businesses, which is the case, a disposal would make sense as long as it’s possible without significant writedowns,” Sven Diermeier, an Independent Research GmbH analyst, said by phone from Frankfurt. “EON’s market position in both countries is not so strong.”

EON advanced 0.6 percent to 13.225 euros by 2:55 p.m. in Frankfurt, while EDF slid 1.6 percent to 24.71 euros in Paris.

The only asset left unsold from the previous disposal program is EON’s stake in nuclear-fuel producer Urenco Ltd.

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