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MILAN, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Italian utility Enel said on Thursday it had made a binding offer to buy a 60.62 percent stake in Chile’s Enersis from its own Spanish unit Endesa for 8.25 billion euros ($10.66 billion) in a move to simplify operations.
Enel also proposed that Endesa then distributes an extraordinary cash dividend to shareholders equal to the value of the sale, the utility said in a statement issued after the market closed.
The reorganisation is focused on stripping out Endesa’s Latin American assets to give Enel more direct control over them as it tries to reduce debts. Enel owns 92.06 percent of Endesa.
Enersis is the parent company for the group’s Latin American operations. Latin America and Iberia accounted for around 40 percent of Enel’s core earnings of 17 billion euros last year.
The reorganisation deal is still subject to approval by Endesa’s board of directors and the company’s shareholders.
Once approved, “the above transactions are expected to be completed during the last quarter of 2014, having already received from the relevant authorities the required authorisations for their completion,” Enel said.
Enel, which is Italy’s biggest utility, intends to grow further in South America and plans to focus Endesa’s operations on the Iberian market via a new business plan for the unit.
The reorganisation could help boost Enel’s group net income by around 70 million to 80 million euros, Chief Financial Officer Luigi Ferraris has said.
After the deal, Enel’s board will analyse a possible reorganisation of Endesa’s financial structure, which could also include the payment of a further extraordinary dividend.
Enel’s board will review Endesa’s dividend policy and examine “the possibility of undertaking capital market transactions, depending on market conditions, to add further value to (Enel‘s) holding in Endesa and resolve the stock’s current lack of liquidity.”
Enel Chief Executive Officer Francesco Starace said on Saturday the utility could sell a stake in Endesa of up to 22 percent to boost its free floating capital.
1 US dollar = 0.7739 euro Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; Editing by Mark Trevelyan and Lisa Shumaker