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Finland's Fortum in talks to buy Uniper stake from E.ON

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Finland's Fortum in talks to buy Uniper stake from E.ON

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Finland’s Fortum <FORTUM.HE> is in advanced talks to buy a 47 percent stake in German energy group Uniper <UN01.DE> for 3.8 billion euros (£3.37 billion) from E.ON <EONGn.DE>, the companies said on Wednesday. Fortum is offering 22 euros a share for Uniper and has not set a minimum acceptance threshold. Shares in Uniper rose 4.4 percent to 21.70 euros, while Fortum was up 4 percent and E.ON up 2.7 percent. If Fortum strikes a deal with E.ON it would have to make a mandatory offer for the whole company under Germany’s takeover code, which could launch in early 2018. Given the lack of a substantial takeover premium for Uniper, prospects Fortum of gaining full control are unclear, a source close to the deal said. Fortum is mainly interested in Uniper’s nuclear and hydropower assets. While it would buy the whole company in a first step it is already working with a partner who may take on its coal-fired plants and other assets, another source close to the matter said. “Fortum would focus on being an active, supportive and reliable shareholder of Uniper and a constructive strategic partner to Uniper, its management and employees,” Fortum said in a statement.

(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; additional reporting by Vera Eckert and Tuomas Forsell; editing by Ludwig Burger and Jason Neely)
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