UK competition authority clears RWE purchase of stake in E.ON

FILE PHOTO: Steam rises from the five brown coal-fired power units of RWE, one of Europe's biggest electricity companies in Neurath, north-west of Cologne, Germany March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Competition Markets Authority said on Monday it had cleared German utility RWE’s purchase of rival E.ON’s renewables business and nuclear electricity generation assets.

Under the deal, RWE will take a 16.7 percent minority stake in E.ON.

“The CMA has decided, on the information currently available to it, not to refer the following merger to a Phase 2 investigation under the provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002,” the CMA said in a statement.

When a merger is referred for a Phase 2 investigation, the CMA has to decide whether the merger could result in a substantial decrease in competition.

The CMA said more details of its decision will be posted on its website in due course.

In February, RWE won antitrust approval from the European Commission for the deal, after it found the transaction would not raise competition concerns.

On the deal’s completion, RWE will become Europe’s third-largest renewable energy provider behind Spain’s Iberdrola and Italy’s Enel.

Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Kirsten Donovan