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Shell Considers Buying Dutch Green Energy Supplier

Shell is mulling over a bid for Dutch green energy company Eneco Group, which is active in wind, solar, and biomass, the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported, citing sources from the banking industry.

While Shell declined to comment on the report, the daily said it had hired a U.S.-based bank to help it arrange the offer. But it is not alone in its plans for Eneco, according to the paper: French Total has also contacted advisors for a possible bid. And that’s just the Big Oil suitors. Telegraaf said there are a number of other potential suitors for the company, including French utility Engie, private equity fund CVC, and Mitsubishi.

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Eneco Group is owned by 53 local councils in the Netherlands, more than two-thirds of which are in favor of a sale that could be worth more than US$3.6 billion (3 billion euro). However, not all are on board: 29 council that together hold an overwhelming majority of the shares in the company are asking for an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on the grounds that they have lost faith in the company’s supervisory board.

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Eneco operates onshore and offshore wind farms, a biomass power plant, and solar installations in the Netherlands, the UK, France, and Belgium, producing enough power to supply 850,000 households. Reports of shareholders’ plans to sell or list the company emerged last year.

The book value of the business is more than US$3.4 billion (2.9 billion euro) and it would make a good fit for Shell in its recently launched expansion into renewable energy that will see it invest up to US$2 billion every year on new energy sources over the period until 2020. Investment areas include EVs, biomass, and wind power. Over the longer term, Shell is ambitious to reduce the carbon footprint of its products by about 20 percent by 2035 and by 50 percent by 2050.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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