EXCLUSIVE-NextEra Energy in $15 billion bid for Evergy -sources

NEW YORK, Nov 9 (Reuters) - NextEra Energy Inc, the world’s largest producer of wind and solar energy, has made a roughly $15 billion all-stock acquisition offer for U.S power utility Evergy Inc, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Evergy turned down the offer in recent days and it is unclear whether NextEra will make a new approach, the sources said.

An Evergy spokeswoman said the company did not comment on market rumors.

The move shows how NextEra is seeking to capitalize on a rally in its stock by pursuing large acquisitions. Last month, NextEra was rebuffed by Duke Energy Corp, another major utility it approached with an acquisition offer.

NextEra’s bid valued Evergy in the mid $60s-per-share, the sources said. Evergy informed NextEra that the price was inadequate, and that it also required a detailed plan to overcome regulatory hurdles to a deal, the sources added.

Evergy’s stock was trading Monday afternoon at $57.93, up 5.3% amid a wider market rally.

Evergy solicited takeover bids earlier this year under pressure from hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. It attracted NextEra’s interest, but Evergy decided last summer to remain independent. It is not clear what prompted NextEra’s latest takeover approach.

“As previously discussed... we conducted an extensive strategic review process, that process is complete, and our attention is focused on our Sustainability Transformation Plan,” the Evergy spokeswoman said.

The sources requested anonymity because the matter is confidential. NextEra did not immediately respond to requests for comment. (Reporting by David French, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)