September 4, 2014 / 12:21 PM / in 3 years

Sweden's opposition may sell some non-Nordic parts of Vattenfall

STOCKHOLM, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Sweden’s main opposition party, which is expected to win the largest share of the vote in an election next week, may sell some of the non-Nordic business of state-owned energy group Vattenfall if it comes to power, a senior party official said.

Mikael Damberg, the party’s parliamentary group leader, said on Thursday the party would be open to a sale if market conditions improved and a sale would benefit the company.

“We don’t rule out that Vattenfall might need some repositioning,” he told reporters.

A sale will not take place immediately, however, as the financial state of the company must be “straightened out” first, Damberg said.

Vattenfall’s acquisition of Dutch energy firm Nuon in 2009 has led to billions of Swedish crowns in writedowns and a headache for Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and his centre-right government.

“Before you take long-term strategic decisions, all cards must be on the table,” Damberg said.

Vattenfall split this year into one unit for its Nordic operations and another for its continental European and British business, which contributes around 70 percent of the group’s revenue.

Earlier this year Vattenfall said it had no immediate plan to sell operations outside of the Nordic region but was looking at the possibility of bringing in investors to “share risk” in its continental and UK business.

The Social Democrats have the largest support ahead of the vote on Sept. 14 and are seen forming a government with the Green Party and possibly the Left Party. The latest poll puts support for the three centre-left opposition parties at 48.0 percent, ahead of the Alliance government at 38.1 percent.

Reporting by Johan Sennero; editing by Jane Baird

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