Sweden's Vattenfall buying Mirant's Bewag stake for $1.6 billion

Sweden's Vattenfall AB has agreed to buy Mirant Corp.'s 44.8% ownership position in Berlin-based Bewag AG for $1.63 billion, Mirant said Monday. The deal will raise Vattenfall's stake in Bewag to 89.6% and gives it 92% of voting rights in Bewag, Vattenfall said in a statement.

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Dec. 3 -- Sweden's Vattenfall AB has agreed to buy Mirant Corp.'s 44.8% ownership position in Berlin-based Bewag AG for $1.63 billion, Mirant said Monday.

The deal will raise Vattenfall's stake in Bewag to 89.6% and gives it 92% of voting rights in Bewag, Vattenfall said in a statement.

The companies said the price is not subject to currency changes. Mirant reported it expects to realize $900 million in after-tax proceeds from the sale following repayment of related debt obligations. Excluding any one-time gain resulting from the sale, Mirant said the transaction is not expected to affect the company's previously provided earnings guidance of $2.55-$2.65/share for 2002.

Mirant CEO Marce Fuller said the transaction gives Mirant a fair price for its Bewag shares and the sale will allow the Atlanta, Ga., energy company to move forward with its growth plans.

Mirant bought an initial 26% interest in Bewag in 1997. In 2001, the company increased its ownership to 44.8% and, as of the end of the third quarter, had a book investment in Bewag of $700 million, plus $600 million of related debt.

One of Europe's top 10 marketers, Mirant has a target of owning or controlling 10,000 Mw in the region of 2005. The company owns a major stake in a venture to build and operate a combined heat and power plant in Skogn, Norway, and is pursuing further integration of gas and power interests in the North Sea rim.

In Italy, the company is pursuing green field developments, acquisitions and marketing activities. In the UK Mirant owns 49% and shares management control of WPD, a power distribution company.

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