E.ON, Germany’s largest utility, said yesterday it has sold its Open Grid Europe gas distribution network to a consortium led by Australian bank Macquarie for €3.2bn (£2.6bn), raising cash to pay down debt and fund expansion.
The deal brings E.ON’s tally of divestments to more than €12bn, well on its way toward its goal of selling assets worth €15bn by the end of 2013 to help offset the impact of Germany’s nuclear exit.
“With this deal E.ON is able to deleverage further without the loss of high earnings,” DZ Bank analyst Hasim Senguel said, adding the price was almost a third above expectations.
The consortium that won the bid comprises Macquarie’s European Infrastructure Fund 4, Infinity Investments, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC) and Munich Re’s asset management unit MEAG.
Macquarie was advised on the deal by Macquarie Capital and the Royal Bank of Canada.