Investment fund IFM Global Infrastructure Fund offered on Tuesday to buy a 22.7% stake in Spain’s Naturgy for 5.06 billion euros ($6.13 billion), sending the power group’s shares soaring 16% to lead gainers on Madrid’s bourse.
The cash offer of 23 euros per share represented a 19.7% premium over Naturgy’s closing price on Monday, according to calculations by the fund’s manager IFM Investors, which is owned by Australian pension funds.
Naturgy’s earnings have been hit over the past year as the coronavirus pandemic crimped demand for fuel, dragging down gas prices already depressed by a global glut of super-chilled liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Formerly known as Gas Natural, Naturgy rebranded in 2018, reshuffled management and set about cutting costs and moving out of a number of countries including Colombia and Italy.
It is now looking to expand its presence in the fast-growing renewable energy generation sector. It bought a solar energy developer in the United States this month.
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