November 11, 2019 / 4:07 PM / a month ago

First-round bids for stake in utility MVV due this week: sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - First-round bids for a 45.1% stake in German regional utility MVV Energie (MVVGn.DE), owned by peers EnBW (EBKG.DE) and RheinEnergie, are due this week, two people familiar with the matter said.

The stake has a valuation of 828 million euros ($912 million) at MVV’s current share price of 27.9 euros, according to a Reuters calculation.

Parties expected to submit bids include German asset manager DWS (DWSG.DE), French private equity group Ardian, Australian infrastructure investor IFM and Canadian pension fund OMERS, the people said.

Switzerland’s Partners Group (PGHN.S) and insurer Allianz (ALVG.DE) could also hand in offers, though it was not clear whether the latter would come through with a bid if a parallel auction for a minority stake in EWE is successful.

Swiss Life (SLHN.S) is also seen in the race, one of the people said, adding the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority could emerge as co-investor should consortia be formed.

All parties either declined to comment or were not immediately available for comment.

One of the main issues will be the level of control MVV is prepared to give any buyers of the stake, the people said, adding that dividends and board representation was seen as less controversial than a say on strategy.

EnBW and RheinEnergie last month said they planned to pull out of the Mannheim-based utility.

One of the people said that EnBW, which holds an individual stake in MVV of 28.8%, will need to sell at a price of at least 33 euros per share to avoid write-downs at its pension fund, where the stake sits.

Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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