German power company Uniper has concluded a series of agreements to sell its generation and distribution assets in France to Czech coal mining and energy group EPH.
The companies originally announced the sale negotiations in December last year and received all approvals for the deal.
The transaction includes Uniper ’s French sales business, two gas-fired power plants in Saint-Avold, which also has a coal-fired facility in the deal alongside another site in Gardanne. In addition, the deal comprises a biomass power plant Provence 4 in Gardanne, as well as wind and solar facilities.
Upon completion of the deal, all activities and assets at these sites and those at Uniper ’s French headquarters in Colombes near Paris will be transferred to EPH.
Uniper received a unilateral and binding offer from EPH through its subsidiary EP Power Europe at the end of last year. After this, the company entered exclusive negotiations with EPH.
The company held a consultation process with the employees’ representative bodies this January and initiated the process to secure approval from the European Commission (EC), which concluded in May.
Approvals were also received from the French Ministry for Economy and Finance at the end of June.
In 2018, Uniper announced that it will initiate a strategic review of its French business.
Uniper chief operating officer Eckhardt Rümmler said: “On the one hand, we are naturally delighted about the successful conclusion of these negotiations. On the other hand, we are parting company with more than 500 qualified employees and part of our corporate history.
“The decision by the French Government to close our two coal-fired power plants long before the end of their technical operating lives would have affected our entire business. We therefore had to act entrepreneurially.”
With operations in more than 40 countries, Uniper provides energy and related services. The company’s main activities are power generation in Europe and Russia, as well as global energy trading.