No hurry for E-CO Vannkraft

10.08.04

Statkraft and E-CO Energi have agreed that the 30-day deadline for E-CO Energi exercising its pre-emptive right to purchase Statkraft's 20 per cent stake in E-CO Vannkraft will not begin to run until the boards of directors of the Finnish energy consortium, which has acquired the stake, have discussed the issue.

It was the Norwegian Competition Authority that ordered Statkraft, Norway's largest power producer, to sell its 20 per cent interest in E-CO Vannkraft, which is Norway's second largest power producer and is otherwise owned by the municipality of Oslo.

Invited the Finns to buy

Statkraft sent an invitation to buy the stake to Finland, and indicated to E-CO that the deadline for exercising its pre-emptive right was on 15 August. However, the deadline did not apply because the Finns' boards of directors had not approved the acquisition.This means the majority of the Oslo City Council can rest easy for the moment when it comes to fast-tracking any city council decision. According to City Commissioner of Finance André Støylen (Conservative Party): "I think this is completely natural since the 30-day deadline has not yet begun to run. In any event, the City Council will now have enough time to monitor this process."

New deadline

During the summer, it was clarified that E-CO has enough money of its own to purchase the shares for NOK 2.5 billion. The Finns' deadline for bringing the issue before their boards of directors expires on 3 September, at which time a new 30-day period will begin to run for Oslo's decision regarding whether or not to exercise its pre-emptive right.

According to Støylen: "This is yet another reason why it may be worthwhile for the municipality and E-CO Energi to outbid the other party."

Source: NRK Østlandssendingen