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Court lifts Endesa takeover obstacle

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Court lifts Endesa takeover obstacle

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The battle to gain control of Spain’s biggest power company Endesa may now recommence. The Supreme Court in Madrid has lifted an injunction that effectively blocked competing bids from Gas Natural and Eon. Those bids can go ahead if a commercial court decides next week to lift one final obstacle to the process.

The 16-month takeover battle started when Gas Natural put in a hostile cash-and-shares bid which was then trumped by Eon. Endesa has tried to fend off Gas Natural’s offer.

In the Supreme Court case, Endesa argued the Spanish government acted illegally when it ignored Spain’s competition authority and approved Gas Natural’s offer.

Eon may now have to better its bid to get a controlling 51 percent stake, with Gas Natural still in the game and another company, Acciona, seeking to increase its own share to 25 percent.