Shares of Glasgow-based Scottish Power PLC, parent company of Portland, OR-based wind power, marketing and storage company PPM Energy, jumped to a new 52-week high on the New York Stock Exchange last Wednesday after the company said that it received a potential buyout offer. On Friday Spanish power company Iberdrola confirmed that it is looking at potential deals with Scottish Power and “other alternatives.”
“The board of Scottish Power confirms that it has received an approach, which may or may not lead to an offer being made…” Scottish Power said in a statement. “There can be no certainty that an offer will be made and any offer that is made will be considered by the board at the appropriate time. A further announcement will be made in due course.”
The company’s shares rose 9.6% to 736 pence ($14.04) on the London Stock Exchange and jumped about 13% to more than $58/share on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Associated Press reported that German utilities RWE AG and E.On AG each denied having approached the company. Scottish Power was in talks with E.On last year, but the German company ended discussions after the Glasgow-based energy supplier rejected its offer of 570 pence ($9.76) a share, or about 11.3 billion pounds ($19.4 billion). Scottish Power CEO Ian Russell said the E.On offer did not reflect the fair value of the company and expressed concern about the lengthy regulatory approval process.
On Friday, Iberdrola released a statement confirming that it was the potential suitor. “Iberdrola is pleased to report that, with the purpose of creating value for its shareholders, it continues to appraise different investment alternatives and opportunities in the market including Scottish Power. Iberdrola is currently evaluating different investment alternatives and it has not adopted any decision or agreement in connection with strategic investments.”
The Spanish company may have its sights set on Scottish Power’s PPM subsidiary, which owns a growing stake in the North American wind power business. Iberdrola recently purchased a large stake in wind power in the United States, buying MREC Partners, which owns Midwest Renewable Energy Projects, for $38.6 million. It said it plans to spend $2 billion to build out MREC’s wind power portfolio in the U.S. Midwest to about 1,600 MW by 2011. That deal followed an agreement with Gamesa to acquire U.S. wind farms in 2007 and 2009. Iberdrola also bought Community Energy in May with 2,200 MW of U.S. renewable power projects. Iberdrola forecasts that it will have 7,000 MW of renewable energy generation by 2009 and 10,000 MW by 2011, much of it in the international market.
Scottish Power provides gas and power distribution services to 5.2 million utility customers in the United Kingdom. Last year, the company sold PacifiCorp to MidAmerican Energy Holdings for $9.4 billion. The deal excluded PPM Energy, which currently owns or operates 830 MW of wind power facilities, with a goal of having 2,300 MW by 2010. PPM also has three natural gas storage fields and two others in development spread from western Canada to eastern Texas.
Iberdrola operates a power transmission and distribution system in Spain that serves 16 million and owns about 27,000 MW of power generation in Europe, most of it in Spain.
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