* Uniper would consider offer for Russian business
* Unipro shares reach five-month high (Adds Barclays analyst reaction)
DUESSELDORF/FRANKFURT, Jan 14 (Reuters) - German utility Uniper is looking at various scenarios for its Russian business, ranging from expansion in renewable energy to consideration of a sale if conditions are right, Chief Executive Andreas Schierenbeck said.
His comments follow media speculation that Russia’s Unipro , of which Uniper owns 83.7%, had caught the eye of Russian energy group Inter RAO.
Inter RAO later said it was not in any negotiations to buy Unipro.
“In principle we’re always looking at all options for our assets. Asset rotation has always been part of our strategy,” Schierenbeck told Reuters. “But we’re not in any talks at the moment to completely exit any of our businesses.”
“The rumours suggest that we have interesting assets in Russia that may attract outside interest,” he said.
“If we find that an offer for an asset is so attractive that it makes sense for us to think about it then of course we will do that.”
Unipro shares rose as much as 1.8%, hitting a five-month high.
In a note following the Reuters story, Barclays analysts said they believe the comments will generate “significant investor interest” and would be particularly positive for Uniper’s majority owner, Finland’s Fortum.
“A premium priced sale of Uniper’s Unipro stake would raise significant net cash, whilst reducing Russian exposure, benefiting Fortum’s credit rating,” the brokerage wrote.
Shares in Fortum, which owns 75% in Uniper, were up 1.1%.
Unipro has a market value of 183.3 billion roubles ($2.48 billion) and operates about 11 gigawatts of coal- and gas-fired power plants in Russia.
Schierenbeck said Uniper is also exploring cooperation opportunities in Russia with Fortum, which also owns assets in the country.
$1 = 73.8885 roubles Editing by Jane Merriman and Steve Orlofsky
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