E.ON in talks over $5.6 billion UK unit sale: report

LONDON (BestGrowthStock) – E.ON (EONGn.DE: ), the German power company, is in advanced talks to sell Britain’s second-largest electricity distribution network to a group of foreign investors for up to 3.5 billion pounds ($5.6 billion), the Sunday Times reported.

The report said a consortium comprising the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Australian Bank Macquarie (MBL.UL: ) had approached E.ON about the business, made up of the former Midlands and East Midlands Electricity companies.

The consortium made the approach for E.ON Central Networks recently and talks advanced quickly, the report added.

German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Saturday that E.ON was considering the sale of several assets to make up for sliding earnings.

The consortium interested in E.ON’s UK business lost the race to buy UK power grids from France’s EDF (EDF.PA: ) for 5.8 billion pounds in July. The EDF assets went to Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, who beat the consortium and another group made up of Scottish and Southern Energy and Borealis.

E.ON and ADIA declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on Sunday.

CPP and Macquarie did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.

Shares in E.ON, which have fallen 23 percent in 2010, closed at 22.57 euros on Friday, valuing the business at around 45 billion euros.

(Reporting by Rhys Jones, Quentin Webb and Greg Roumeliotis, Editing by Erica Billingham)

($1=.6198 Pound)

E.ON in talks over $5.6 billion UK unit sale: report