Asterion Industrial Partners has struck a deal to acquire German utility Steag, according to a statement Friday.
(Bloomberg) — Asterion Industrial Partners has struck a deal to acquire German utility Steag, according to a statement Friday.
The Spanish infrastructure investor’s offer gives the company an enterprise value of about €2.6 billion ($2.8 billion) euros, Steag’s owners, a consortium of six Western German municipalities, said. Asterion will take over both of the firm’s units — Steag Power and Iqony — with the deal expected to close by December.
Asterion has been competing against Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky’s energy holding company EPH to acquire Steag from its owners, Bloomberg reported earlier on Friday. EPH teamed up with the RAG-Stiftung foundation, which helped oversee Germany’s transition away from hard coal mining, for its bid.
“With Asterion, the best possible solution for the previous shareholders and the company has been found, so that both divisions of the Steag Group can continue to develop positively,” said Heike Heim, who heads Dortmunder Stadtwerke, one of the consortium’s six utilities.
Steag operates six coal-fired power plants in the west of Germany. Both Asterion and EPH put forward plans to transform Steag into a major renewables player — something that will require massive investment.
Asterion plans to invest at least €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in Steag’s green shift and assume about €1 billion of its unfunded pension liabilities, Bloomberg News has reported. Asterion was founded by members of KKR & Co.’s infrastructure investment team, including Jesús Olmos Clavijo.
The sale to Asterion marks a rare defeat for Kretinsky. The 48-year-old has spent a decade assembling an empire stretching from power plants to retail and media, turning him into one of the most prominent dealmakers in Europe. In Germany, Kretinsky already owns Leag, one of the country’s largest power producers. In France, he recently won the bidding for troubled French supermarket chain Casino Guichard Perrachon SA.
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–With assistance from Jana Randow.
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