E·on, BP in Gas-for-Oil Asset Swap
LCG, July 17, 2001Germany's big energy firm Eon AG said yesterday it has reached agreement with British global petroleum giant BP Plc on a swap of assets that will move certain BP gas properties to Eon and some Eon oil interests to BP. A lot of cash will be involved as well.BP will pay 6.5 billion euros ($5.5 billion U.S.) and assume $950 million in debt for a 51 percent interest in Veba Oel, an Eon subsidiary that owns Aral, Germany's leading chain of gas stations, and will have an option to buy the remaining shares beginning in April. BP said it expects annual savings and revenue increases totaling $200 million if it buys the entire company.Eon will pay 1.63 billion euros ($1.4 billion) for 51 percent of BP unit Gelsenberg AG, which owns 25.5 percent of Ruhrgas, Germany's largest gas importer and one of Europe's three largest natural gas companies. Eon will also have an option to buy the rest of Gelsenberg beginning January.Eon, which was formed in 1999 through the merger of utilities Veba AG and Viag AG, earlier this year bought British utility Powergen Plc for $7.4 billion, giving the German company a presence in the British and U.S. electricity markets.
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