French energy company ENGIE sidesteps takeover questions

June 26 (UPI) — French energy company ENGIE said Tuesday it was addressing a Portuguese request by saying it wasn’t bidding for a regional renewable unit of EDPR.

Bloomberg News, citing sources with knowledge of the issue, reported Monday that the French energy company was considering a takeover of the Portuguese segment of EDP Renovaveis with an eye on its U.S. portfolio.

In a statement Tuesday, the French company said it was responding to requests from market authorities in Portugal and recent speculation by saying it was “constantly” looking at investment opportunities.

“That said, ENGIE has not taken any decision in relation to EDPR and currently is not preparing the launching of any takeover bid over shares issued by EDP Renov√°veis,” its statement read.

EDPR, which has its headquarters in Madrid, reported its first quarter net profit of $109 million was 39 percent higher than the same period last year. Its clean energy production was up 14 percent over the same time frame.

EDPR last month secured a 15-year agreement to sell the power produced from its Hidalgo II wind farm in Texas. It has 1.6 gigawatts of sales agreements for its North American subsidiary.

The Spanish parent had no comment on the takeover speculations.

In announcing its first quarter earnings, ENGIE said it was successful in repositioning itself as a low-carbon leader. In the French market, the company attributed gains to a strong increase in wind and hydroelectric power generation, which is up nearly 40 percent.

The French company solidified its position at the top of the renewable energy food chain in the country by acquiring producer LANGA group earlier this month. By year’s end, the LANGA Group should have 215 megawatts of installed renewable energy capacity, with most of that existing as solar energy. Another 1.3 gigawatts of projects could be completed by the group by 2022.

Last week, it said it no longer had any coal-fired power assets in the Asia-Pacific after unloading shares in a Thai power producer.

The European Commission has said that Luxembourg needs to recover unpaid taxes from French energy company ENGIE because tax rulings gave it an unfair market advantage.

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