E.ON's Ruhrgas Bid Likely To Be Approved By German Government To Create A National Champion

E.ON, Europe's second largest utility, will probably be successful in its yearlong, 10.3 billion-euro ($10 billion) quest to acquire Ruhrgas AG, Germany's biggest natural-gas company, analysts have said.

Germany's government will overrule its antitrust authority and approve the transaction, Germany's DPA news agency reported yesterday, without citing its source. Alfred Tacke, deputy Economics Minister, will announce the decision at 10:30 am local time.

E.ON Chief Executive Ulrich Hartmann has said the acquisition will help secure energy supplies in a country whose oil industry is controlled by foreign companies. The purchase would be the second biggest in the European gas industry after National Grid Group's $18 billion takeover of Lattice Group.

“The reasoning is that it would be a clear advantage for Germany to have a national champion like that,” said Rainer Muench, an analyst at DZ Bank in Frankfurt.


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