CTG still wants to buy Portuguese EDP

CTG still wants to buy Portuguese EDP

LISBON (Reuters) – A Portuguese Financial Markets Authority official said on Thursday there are no signs that China’s Three Gorges (CTG) is about to back down from its €9 billion offer to buy EDP-Energias de Portugal.

To reporters who asked him why the process was taking so long, Joao Jiao replied: “CMVM maintains close contact with the bidder.”

CTG, a Chinese public company, is already the major shareholder of EDP with 23% of the capital. In May 2018, it launched an offer to acquire the capital balance of the largest company in Portugal, which requires regulatory clearances from the European Union and several countries, including Brazil, the United States and Portugal.

Joao Geao added that CTG needs “administrative licenses from a large number of jurisdictions” before it can proceed with the final and formal registration of its offer with CMVM. “nothing new”.

“It would be a problem for CMVM if we were to confirm that there was an abortion of CMVM-dependent processes but that is not the case,” he said.

The EDP board rejected CTG’s €3.26 per share offer as too low, as did wind energy subsidiary EDP Renovaveis’ board. The latter considered that the acquisition of a Chinese company could significantly affect its strategy in the United States and raise objections from the American authorities.

The offer could also face regulatory hurdles in Europe, where the Chinese state already holds a large stake in the capital of Portuguese power grid operator REN.

Isabelle Kocher, Engie’s chief executive, said in July that the French group was “actively” monitoring – without further details – the situation in the EDP. Banking sources familiar with the matter indicated last month that CTG was in talks with European utility companies, including Engie, to assess its interest in EDP’s renewable energy assets in the United States.

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(Sergio Goncalves, Dominique Rodriguez of the French Service, Editing by Bertrand Bossi)

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