German uitlities E.ON, RWE in energy market shakeup

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

European stocks were mostly higher on Monday as strong United States jobs report stoked optimism about global growth and German utilities E.ON and RWE announced they are planning a major asset swap involving RWE subsidiary Innogy.

Under the complex deal, RWE will end up controlling the renewable generation assets of both Eon and RWE. RWE would also acquire "substantially all of" E.on's renewables operations, including the economic benefits as of the start of this year, and it would keep Innogy's renewables and gas storage businesses, and the latter's interest in Austrian utility Kelag.

The logo of German energy company Innogy at its headquarters in Essen.

Through the deal RWE would secure a 16.67% stake in E.on. Furthermore, E.ON would transfer to RWE most of E.ON's renewables business and also the minority interests now held by E.ON's subsidiary PreussenElektra in the RWE-operated nuclear power plants Emsland and Gundremmingen.

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Under the terms of the transaction, E.ON will transfer most of its renewable business to RWE.

RWE, which owns 76.8 percent of Innogy, was indicated 8 percent higher and E.ON was seen up 6 percent. "Now they have agreed on a spectacular deal that will shake up the European energy market".

Germany's energy landscape has been rapidly transformed since Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the complete phaseout of nuclear energy after Japan's 2011 Fukushima disaster.

As wholesale power prices have dropped, the big utilities have been forced into an ongoing process of restructuring.

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