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Sweden's Vattenfall makes $10.9B offer for Nuon

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[February 23, 2009]  STOCKHOLM (AP) -- Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall AB said Monday it has made a euro8.5 billion ($10.9 billion) cash offer for Dutch energy firm Nuon N.V.

Vattenfall said that, upon approval by Nuon shareholders and antitrust authorities, it will buy 49 percent of the shares. It will buy the remaining 51 percent in the coming six years.

The Stockholm-based company said the payout of 2008 dividends will bring the total cost of the deal to euro10.3 billion ($12.97 billion).

Nuon's network unit Alliander is not included in the takeover.

The deal requires the approval of the European Commission competition authorities and at least 80 percent of Nuon shareholders. The shares are owned by local and regional authorities in the Netherlands.

Vattenfall said the acquisition of the first 49 percent of the shares will be funded with cash and debt of euro5 billion from nine different banks. It did not specify how much it would have to borrow to pay for the second part of the deal.

Nuon produces and delivers electricity, gas, heating and cooling. In 2008 it reported sales of euro6.1 billion.

The company has 10,000 employees in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany and Vattenfall said there will be no layoffs as a result of the takeover.

Vattenfall's chief executive Lars G. Josefsson said the acquisition fits his company's strategy to become a leading player in the European energy market and expand its operations in gas.

"The Benelux market is highly complementary to our existing European activities," he said in a statement.

Vattenfall is one of the largest energy companies in Northern Europe with sales in 2008 of 164.5 billion Swedish kronor ($18.9 billion). It has operations in Germany, Poland, Netherlands, Britain and the Nordic countries.

[Associated Press; By MALIN RISING]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.





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