RWE to divest American Water

Germany's RWE, Europe's fourth-largest utility, plans to sell a minority stake in U.S. water supplier American Water in April and is on track to divest a majority this year and to pay out more to shareholders.

The German power provider has started presenting American Water to investors and aims to divest 40 percent of the company later this month, Chief Executive Juergen Grossmann said at the company's shareholder meeting on Thursday.

The company remains committed to selling the majority of the water supplier this year and to increase its payout ratio 70 to 80 percent of its earnings for the year, Grossmann reiterated.

That's more than the company's general target to pay out 50 to 60 percent of its recurrent net income as a dividend. RWE defines recurrent net profit as net income excluding extraordinary effects.

RWE AG is a German electric power and natural gas public utility company based in Essen. Through its various subsidiaries, the energy company contributes electricity and gas to more than 20 million electricity customers and 10 million gas customers, principally in Europe. RWE is the second largest electricity producer in Germany.

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