Russian, U.S. Regulators Could Approve Fortum-Uniper Deal in Еаrly 2020

Regulators in Russia and the United States could approve the deal between Germany-based utility Uniper and Finnish energy company Fortum by the end of the first quarter of 2020, Uniper said in its financial report for nine months of this year, according to TASS.

“The deal is subject to regulatory approvals in Russia and the United States, which Fortum expects by end of Q1 2020,” Uniper said.

The Russian government can approve the $2.5 billion deal increasing the stake held by Fortum in Uniper in the course of six months, Russia’s Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin told reporters earlier in October. 

The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) is discussing an amendment to the law on foreign investors in order to have an opportunity to endorse the Fortum and Uniper deal, head of FAS Igor Artemyev said on October 15.

Fortum earlier informed about an agreement with Elliott and Knight Vinke on the acquisition of their stake in Uniper totaling over 20.5%. The Finnish company will have a participation interest over 70.5% in the German undertaking as a result of the deal. The transaction requires approval by the FAS of Russia in particular because both companies have assets in Russia. 

Uniper has a water service company associated with natural monopolies among its assets. The Russian law does not allow a foreign enterprise to hold over 50% in a company with strategic facilities.

Under the deal announced in October, Fortum will pay approximately $2.5 billion for the combined shareholding, corresponding to $32.89 per share. This takes Fortum’s total investment in Uniper to approximately $6.81 billion, representing an average acquisition price of $26.34 per share.