ESSEN, Germany (Reuters) - Uniper (UN01.DE), the power plant and energy trading business spun off by E.ON (EONGn.DE), said it was seeing growing interest from investors, citing a 74-percent rise in shares since it was listed in September last year.
Uniper’s stock was boosted last week by a report that Finnish energy firm Fortum (FORTUM.HE) was considering buying E.ON’s remaining 46.65 percent stake in Uniper.
“In our many discussions with representatives of the capital market, we hear repeatedly that there’s a growing appreciation for the value and potential of our portfolio,” Uniper Chief Executive Klaus Schaefer told shareholders at the group’s annual general meeting.
“Investors are putting more faith in us, in part because their understanding of our business has improved significantly.”
Uniper operates everything from hydroelectric, coal- and gas-fired plants to storage assets and trading floors, and holds stakes in gas pipelines, LNG terminals and nuclear plants across Europe.
E.ON has hired Goldman Sachs (GS.N) to look at a potential sale of its remaining Uniper stake, sources have said. E.ON has said it aimed to sell the stake as early as 2018.
If the stake goes to a single buyer, it would trigger a takeover offer for all of Uniper under German takeover laws.
Uniper’s shares have risen by more than a third year-to-date, increasing the company’s market value by about three quarters to around 6.6 billion euros ($7.42 billion) since its listing.
The shares were 0.5 percent higher at 0929 GMT (5:29 a.m. ET).
Sources had told Reuters last week that Fortum would only be interested in certain assets of Uniper, most notably its hydroelectric plants, making a bid for the whole group less likely.
Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Tom Kaeckenhoff; Editing by Ludwig Burger and Jane Merriman