January 23, 2018 / 10:33 AM / 10 months ago

Activists likely to seek talks with Fortum over Uniper: E.ON CEO

FILE PHOTO: E.ON Chief Executive Officer Johannes Teyssen is seen during the annual shareholders meeting in Essen, Germany May 10, 2017. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen

BERLIN (Reuters) - Activist investors that have recently disclosed stakes in German energy group Uniper (UN01.DE) will likely seek talks with Fortum (FORTUM.HE) after the Finnish group’s current takeover offer expires on Feb. 2, the chief executive of E.ON (EONGn.DE) said.

E.ON earlier this month agreed to sell its remaining 46.65 percent stake in Uniper, which it retained following a spin off of the unit in 2016, for 22 euros ($26.94) per share, lower than Uniper’s current price of 24.72 euros.

Hedge Fund firm Knight Vinke and activist investor Elliott Management both disclosed stakes in Uniper in December, with the former saying it would not tender its stake under Fortum’s current offer.

“Everyone expects, I expect, that they will seek talks (with Fortum) after February 2,” E.ON CEO Johannes Teyssen said at an industry conference in Berlin.

Investment bank UBS has said that Fortum could buy out other shareholders, possibly with a second big for the outstanding Uniper shares. Including E.ON’s stake, shareholders have tendered 46.93 percent of Uniper shares so far.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Tom Kaeckenhoff, editing by Vera Eckert

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