STOCKHOLM/LONDON, Sept 16 State-controlled
Finnish utility Fortum has launched a sale of its
power grid in Finland, which could fetch around 1.5 billion to 2
billion euros ($2.67 billion), four people familiar with the
Last week, information on the business was sent to
prospective buyers, inviting first round bids in mid-October,
the sources said. They declined to be identified because the
process is not public.
They said a sale of the Finnish business could be completed
this year, whereas that of the larger Swedish grid, which could
fetch between 3 billion to 4 billion euros, would likely happen
Fortum also has a smaller distribution business in Norway.
Two sources said Fortum had hired Nordea to sell that
part, worth around 300 million to 500 million euros, in a
separate process. Fortum and Nordea declined to comment.
Sources told Reuters this spring that Fortum had hired
Citigroup and Danske Bank to explore a sale of its electricity
distribution business in Sweden and Finland, worth an estimated
5 billion euros in total.
Several consortiums comprising infrastructure funds
attracted to the steady and stable returns generated from
regulated assets are forming to assess a possible bid. These
include Macquarie, First State and Borealis, Hastings and Munich
Re, Chinese State Grid and CKI, two of the sources
A separate consortium comprising 3i infrastructure,
Goldman Sachs infrastructure, IFM (Industry Funds Management),
GIC (Government of Singapore Investment Corporation) and ADIA
(the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority) are considering teaming up
to bid for the Swedish business, two of the sources said.
All of the potential bidders either declined to comment or
did not return requests for comment.
A sale would be part of a trend where European energy firms
offload their networks to cut debt and focus on power generation
and renewable energy as EU directives require them to relinquish
control over their grids.