EON to Sell Uniper Stake `Swiftly' Next Year, CFO Says

  • Utility has refinancing need of 15 billion euros within a year
  • Seeks decision on hybrid bond it’s considering in second half

EON SE, Germany’s biggest renewables generator, plans to sell its remaining minority stake in its legacy fossil fuel and trading business as soon as possible next year.

“You should expect us to act swiftly,” once tax restrictions on the sale end by December, Marc Spieker, the company’s chief financial officer since April 1, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s Berlin office on Tuesday. “All venues are open, be it private transactions, be it financial investors, be it strategic investors.”

EON listed Uniper SE in September on the Frankfurt stock exchange, distributing 53 percent of its shares to existing shareholders. The utility is focusing on grids, renewables and retail customers in a response to Germany’s unprecedented Energiewende, the policy shift toward renewable energy and away from fossil fuels and nuclear.

Since going public, Uniper has outperformed EON as well as its peers on the STOXX 600 Utilities Index after a recovery in wholesale power prices.

Both companies fell on Thursday along with an decline in Germany’s main index. Uniper dropped to its lowest level in two weeks, sliding 1.3 percent to 15.33 euros at 11:48 a.m in Berlin. EON declined 1.1 percent to 7.12 euros, its lowest since May 9.

A deal last year with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government on funding nuclear waste storage ahead of the 2022 exit from the fuel has resulted in the need to refinance 15 billion euros ($16.7 billion) of debt in the next twelve months.

As part of that process, EON is considering a hybrid bond, said Spieker, 41, who’s also worked at EON units in Spain and Sweden during his 15 years at the Essen-based utility. Before his promotion to CFO, Spieker coordinated all activities in the split.

“We have not taken a decision yet and will do so in the second half of this year,” he said in his first newswire and German media interview.

EON raised 2 billion euros from a three-part bond sale on Monday to help fund the nuclear waste storage fund amid plans to cut debt and bolster its balance sheet.

— With assistance by Leo Laikola

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