PPL’s $14 Billion U.K. Sale Draws Three Final Bidders
(Bloomberg) -- Macquarie Group Ltd., Enel SpA and Iberdrola SA will battle it out to take over energy firm PPL Corp.’s U.K. business, in what could be the country’s largest deal of the year, according to people familiar with the matter.
The three groups have made it through to a last round of bidding for PPL’s Western Power Distribution arm, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. Final offers are due in the coming weeks, the people said. Western Power could be valued at about 10 billion pounds ($13.8 billion), one person said.
Macquarie’s infrastructure arm has teamed up with Dutch pension fund investor APG and Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board, while Italian utility Enel is leading a consortium that includes asset manager Equitix Ltd. and German insurer Allianz SE, the people said.
Representatives for Allianz, APG, Enel, Iberdrola, Macquarie and PSP declined to comment. Spokespeople for Equitix and PPL didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Western Power provides electricity to more than 7.9 million U.K. customers in the Midlands, South West and Wales. A sale of the unit would be the largest U.K. deal so far in 2021 and among the country’s biggest utility transactions of the past 20 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Investors have been piling into such assets, which are seen as stable and more predictable during the pandemic downturn.
Allentown, Pennsylvania-based PPL said in August that it had launched a process to sell its U.K. utility business, joining a broader push by American power companies seeking to focus on their home markets. Power producers like Bilbao, Spain-based Iberdrola, meanwhile, are looking at acquisitions to expand internationally.
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