Fortum Seek Further Scandinavian Consolidation

Fortum Oyj, the Nordic region's second largest utility group, plans to buy more rivals after spending over five billion dollars in two years defending its position, said Chief Executive officer Mikael Lilius in an interview.

The Finnish company in November agreed to pay 3.4 billion euros ($3.3 billion) to take full control of the Swedish competitor Birka Energi. To finance the plans, Fortum is selling assets worth about a billion dollars, a plan Lilius said is “on track.”

“There's going to be further consolidation and we want to play an active part in it,” Lilius said in an interview at Fortum's headquarters outside Helsinki. “I don't think Birka was the last move, but it was a very important move.”

Like former monopolies elsewhere, Fortum has to make acquisitions to defend its territory after European energy markets were opened up in 1998. E.ON of Germany and Sweden's Vattenfall are two of Fortum's main rivals in the Scandinavian region.

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