Macquarie and E.ON enter into negotiations over sale of Spanish assets

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According to Reuters, Germany's utility E.ON has entered exclusive talks to sell its Spanish activities to Australian infrastructure investor Macquarie Group.

E.ON has put its operations in Italy and Spain on sale to reduce its 31 billion euro ($38.8 billion) debts. Binding bids for E.ON's assets were due on Nov. 3.

According to sources, Macquarie's bid valued the unit at substantially more than €2 billion.

The company’s portfolio is formed by 21 percent coal, 50 percent natural gas, 18 percent hydro, and 11 percent solar and wind. It includes one of the most efficient gas-fired power plants in the country and, as part of a joint venture, two state-of-the-art 50 MW concentrated solar power plants.

The 32,000 km power distribution network could be one of the most attractive assets of the portfolio.

Sources said last month the sale of E.ON's Italian assets had hit a hurdle and the deadline for binding offers had been pushed back to late November.

Although there is no formal information about the the bidders, according to different sources, the following companies were interested in the assets at some point: Spain’s Grupo Villar Mir, Endesa, Gas Natural, Acciona, Portuguese utility Energias de Portugal (EDP), Borealis Infrastructure, KKR,, Riverstone, Brookfield, Blackstone, JP Morgan Infrastructure Investments and Alpiq.

E.ON hired Citi as financial advisor on the sale of the assets.

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