* RWE says could not agree on price with consortium
* Analysts put value of Suewag stake at 700-800 mln eur
* RWE says still sticking to 7 bln eur asset sale goal
(Adds details, background)
DUESSELDORF/FRANKFURT, Aug 22 RWE said
it still wanted to sell its stake in regional power group Suewag
even though talks on a sale have stalled for now, about a month
after S&P cited slow progress on the group's asset sale
programme as one reason for its rating downgrade.
"Negotiations have come to a standstill," a spokesman for
Germany's No.2 utility said on Wednesday, adding that the group
could not agree on a price with a bidding consortium consisting
of regional utilities.
The company, however, said that it was still open to talks
with interested parties, reiterating its target to sell assets
worth up to 7 billion euros ($8.74 billion) by the end of 2013.
Regional utility EVM - a member of the bidding consortium -
said that no further negotiations were planned, in a statement.
Analysts have put the value of RWE's 77.6-percent stake in
Suewag at 700-800 million euros.
In July, S&P downgraded RWE's long-term corporate credit
rating to "BBB+" from "A-", pointing to slow progress regarding
the group's asset sales.
So far, RWE has sold a 19.3-percent stake in regional
utility VSE for 83 million euros and has come close to selling
its 24.95 percent stake in water utility Berlinwasser for 618
Apart from Suewag, RWE wants to sell Czech gas transmission
system operator Net4Gas, assets from its oil and gas exploration
unit DEA, and a stake in regional utility Kevag.
Germany's big utility companies have been hit by the
government's decision last year to shut all nuclear power
stations in the country by 2022.
RWE last week reported slower profit growth than that of
main rival E.ON, and said it would cut an additional
2,400 jobs on top of 8,000 job cuts already planned.
($1 = 0.8013 euros)
(Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff and Christoph Steitz)