Fortum’s $3 Billion Stockholm Heat Business Stake Draws Interest

Interest among investors to buy Fortum Oyj’s stake in one of Europe’s biggest heating networks is increasing, the Finnish utility said on Friday.

The 50% stake in Stockholm Exergi AB was put up for sale last summer and could command as much as $3 billion, according to a person familiar with the valuation, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

Speaking to analysts after announcing full-year results, Chief Executive Officer Markus Rauramo said that “interest has intensified, even in these tricky times,” although he declined to give a timeline for the deal.

His comments came after the announcement of the sale of Fortum’s Baltic heating business on Friday for 800 million euros ($953 million). Exergi is jointly owned with the City of Stockholm.

Fortum declined to comment on the valuation of its stake.

The company is also weighing the sale of its consumer business to increase investments into renewable energy and hydrogen, it said in December. The announcement was part of its new strategy to integrate German utility Uniper SE.

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