E.ON bids in fire sale of Portugal's EDP: source

FRANKFURT Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:10pm EDT

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's E.ON (EONGn.DE), the world's largest utility by sales, has made an offer to the Portuguese state for its minority stake in national power provider EDP, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

A spokesman for E.ON declined to comment.

Portugal is selling its stakes in EDP as well as power grid operator REN (RENE.LS) -- held to have some control over vital infrastructure and services -- as part of a 78-billion-euro EU/IMF bailout, which states the country has to divest the shareholdings by year-end.

It said on Monday that six parties were interested in the stake of around 21 percent. EDP's shares are worth a total of 8.4 billion euros, according to Thomson Reuters data.

E.ON is seeking to expand into regions that offer higher growth than its home market Germany and Chief Executive Johannes Teyssen has said earlier in October that Portugal was an "interesting" market, without being more specific.

In addition to Portugal, EDP is operating in Brazil, a market E.ON wants to enter.

Brazilian utility Cemig (CMIG4.SA), controlled by the state of Minas Gerais, said on Monday it presented shareholders with a proposal to acquire the stake in EDP. France's GDF Suez GSZ.PA has said it may consider taking part in the EDP stake sale, and Brazilian state-run power holding company Eletrobras ELET6.SA has also expressed interest.

(Reporting By Peter Dinkloh, editing by Bernard Orr)

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