July 23, 2016 / 9:12 AM / in 2 years

Uniper CEO rules out sale of whole division - Rheinische Post

FRANKFURT, July 23 (Reuters) - The chief executive of E.ON’s Uniper ruled out a sale of one of the company’s three divisions - European Generation, Global Commodities or International Power - in its drive to pay down debt, he told a German newspaper.

“Only parts of them could be up for discussion, where a sale would not call the overall strategy into question and for which we could currently achieve a decent price,” Klaus Schaefer told Rheinische Post in an interview published on Saturday.

Uniper, the power station and energy trading unit to be split off from utility E.ON in a stock listing in September, has said it would sell at least 2 billion euros ($2.19 billion) of assets by 2018 and cut costs to reduce a 4.7 billion euro debt burden.

These sales are likely to include a 12.25 percent stake in Brazilian power producer Eneva, worth around 216 million reais ($66 million) based on its current market capitalisation.

But asked about a sale of the Brazilian business, Schaefer told Rheinische Post: “Sure, but I currently don’t see any buyer who is willing to pay us a notable sum for it.”

The Russian business, meanwhile, is currently suffering from a weak rouble but is in principle healthy, he said.

He also said Uniper was still working out how many jobs would have to go to cut costs, saying only that it would be a “notable” figure.

Looking ahead to the initial public offering in September, he said he expected many investors to sell their Uniper stock in the days and weeks after the flotation as many funds that focus on blue-chip companies are forced to sell shares.

“After three months it will become clear whether the flotation was a success, and only after about a year can you really judge whether Uniper has arrived on the capital market,” he said.

($1 = 0.9113 euros)

$1 = 3.2559 Brazilian reais Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Susan Thomas

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