Italy’s Enel seems to have suffered a setback in the fight for control of Spain’s largest power company Endesa.
The Spanish stock market regulator said Enel -together with another major Endesa shareholder, building firm Acciona – cannot bid for the company for six months.
The regulator also gave permission for the Germany’s E.ON to raise its 41 billion euro offer for Endesa one more time, because Enel and Acciona had said that they might bid.
Acciona – with 21% of Endesa’s shares – and Enel – with 24.9% – said they would only go ahead with a bid if E.ON does not get 50% of the shares when its offer closes next Thursday.
The Spanish government has been accused of being opposed to E.ON, but when the Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega was asked about that she said: “The bid process and the moves which are happening are a matter for the market and are governed by market regulations. The government has not and never will intervene.”
E.ON, which now has until Monday to come up with a revised offer, said it is studying the legal implications of the latest round of moves in the saga.
Chief Executive Wolf Bernotat has already been forced to raise the bid for Endesa once since launching the takeover effort just over one year ago.
E.ON’s shares fell nearly 2%, Acciona gained 1.5% while Enel slid 1.3% and Endesa shares were suspended from trading.