* Deal would be based on an asset swap
* E.ON to transfer 30 hydroelectric power plants to Verbund
* Whole deal worth over $1 billion (Adds Verbund confirms in talks to sell stake)
By Ozge Ozbilgin
ANKARA, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Germany’s biggest power company E.ON will take over Austrian firm Verbund’s 50 percent stake in Turkish energy firm Enerjisa under an agreement to be signed on Dec. 3, sources close to the matter told Reuters on Friday.
One source close to the matter said nearly the whole deal, worth over $1 billion, would be based on an asset swap, with E.ON transferring to Verbund some 30 hydro-electric power plants in Germany and Austria.
Verbund confirmed it was in talks about a possible disposal of its stake in Enerjisa.
“Verbund... confirms discussion about a potential disposal of Verbund’s shareholding in the Turkish joint-venture Enerjisa,” it said in a statement on Friday.
The company said it could not give further details.
“The three companies Sabanci, Verbund and E.ON will together sign the deal on Dec. 3,” said one of the sources, adding that details of the agreement would be revealed on Dec. 4.
E.ON’s talks on such a deal were first revealed by sources in August.
“Under the asset swap for the 50 percent stake in Enerjisa E.ON will transfer to Verbund 30 hydroelectric power plants in Bavaria, southern Germany and north Austria ,” said one source.
“By doing this E.ON will own a company which aims to have a 10 percent share in Turkey’s energy market with a target capacity of 7,500 megawatts,” he said.
He said there may also be a “symbolic cash transfer” as part of the deal.
Verbund said last month that it was in talks regarding its business in Turkey and is exploring a range of options from scaling back to expanding.
Verbund, which has been divesting stakes in businesses to streamline its portfolio, said in a statement it was in talks with other companies about business in Turkey.
Enerjisa, which has a current capacity of 1,700 megawatts, secured pre-qualification last month to take part in the privatisation tender of the BEDAS power distribution network on the European side of Istanbul.
It has also pre-qualified for the privatisation of Gediz EDAS, the power distributor in the western cities of Izmir and Manisa. (Reporting by Ozge Ozbilgin; additional reporting by Angelika Gruber and Georgina Prodhan in Vienna, Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt; writing by Seda Sezer, Daren Butler and Marilyn Gerlach; editing by Nick Tattersall and Jason Neely)