LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell, Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp and private equity firm KKR have made the final round in an auction for Dutch utility Eneco, three sources close to the matter said.
The deadline for final bids is November 4, one source said.
Eneco, estimated by analysts to be worth about 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion), aims to wrap up the process by Christmas.
Royal Dutch Shell has teamed with Dutch pension fund manager PGGM while KKR has teamed with Dutch lender Rabobank, the sources said.
Eneco generates about half its electricity from renewable energy.
The 53 Dutch local authorities that own the company launched the sale in May, initially attracting European utilities, oil and gas companies and infrastructure funds.
The field of prospective buyers has narrowed, partly due to a long delay in the process stemming from differences between management and shareholders about the future of the company.
Some private equity investors also refrained from bidding as there was a indication from the company that a strategic buyer was preferred, sources said.
A spokeswoman for Rabobank confirmed its consortium is still in the running.
Eneco and Shell declined to comment. Mitsubishi was not available for immediate comment.
Reporting by Ron Bousso and Arno Schuetze; additional reporting by Toby Sterling; writing by Clara Denina; editing by Jason Neely