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Verbund, E.ON agree to hydropower asset swap

Austrian utility Verbund and energy provider E.ON have agreed on a US$2 billion asset trade that includes German hydropower capabilities and Turkish equity interests, HydroWorld.com has learned.

The documents -- signed yesterday -- will see E.ON's interest in eight German run-of-river hydroelectric projects fall into Verbund hands. In exchange, Verbund will sell 50% of its interest in Turkey's Enerjisa Enerji A.S. to E.ON.

Verbund says it previously held interests in the acquired hydropower facilities, as well as electricity purchase rights. This deal now gives the company 100% ownership of seven of the eight projects.

"With this transaction, Verbund reinforces its position in Germany, its most important international market, and in its core technology -- hydropower generation," the company says in a release.

Included in the transaction are shares of the Ering, Egglfing, Nubdorf, Osterreich-Bayerishe Kraftwerke AG and Donaukraftwerke Jochenstein AG hydropower facilities, adding 351 MW to Verbund's hydroelectric portfolio.

The deal also gives Verbund procurement rights from the Zemm Ziller Hydroelectric Group, along with 50% of E.ON's interests in hydropower projects in the Freilassing and Tittmoning basins.

The companies executed a similar trade in 2009, when Verbund acquired 13 Inn River hydropower plants from E.ON.

The deal is scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2013, pending antitrust review.

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