French utility Engie and its Spanish counterpart Iberdrola, along with other investment entities, are gearing up to place bids for the UK-based power network Electricity North West (ENWL), Reuters has reported.

The investment and infrastructure companies working on the potential bids include Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec (CDPQ) and a consortium comprising private equity firm KKR and Dutch pension fund APG.

Jefferies, serving as the advisor for ENWL’s shareholders on the sale, has asked for initial expressions of interest by early May 2024.

Other potential bidders may also present offers ahead of the May deadline.

Interest in electricity networks such as ENWL is rising as nations seek to modernise their ageing power grids to support renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.

The European Commission has estimated that Europe alone requires investments of €584bn ($619.89bn) to bolster grid capacity for electrification and to make the green transition.

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The deal will take the total valuation of ENWL to €4bn.

ENWL is pivotal in delivering electricity to five million customers across Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria.

ENWL is owned by Japan’s Kansai Electric Power Co (Kepco) and investment fund Equitix, each holding a 40% stake.

Australian infrastructure manager Macquarie has previously studied ENWL and is unlikely to bid.

In March 2024, Iberdrola announced plans to invest €41bn to enhance electrification and modernise grids globally.

It emphasised the need for updated infrastructure to support decarbonisation and the expansion of renewable energy and battery storage sectors.