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Denmark's ATP, PFA snap up shares in DONG Energy

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Danish pension giants ATP and PFA are to buy stakes totalling DKK3bn (€402m) between them in DONG Energy, the Danish state enterprise.

ATP will invest DKK2.2bn and PFA DKK0.8bn.

The deal will see the energy group issue new shares worth DKK11bn, with the remaining DKK8bn invested by two funds run by Goldman Sachs – Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners and Broad Street Energy Partners.

DONG Energy was valued at DKK31.5bn before the capital increase.

DONG Energy is Denmark’s biggest energy producer.

It also operates gas-fired power stations in Norway, the Netherlands and the UK and is the European leader in offshore wind power, running offshore wind farms across Northern Europe.

The agreement reduces the Danish state’s ownership interest in DONG Energy from 81% to 60%, and the total ownership interest of the existing minority shareholders – a small number of locally based energy companies – from 19% to 14%.

ATP will own around 5% and PFA 2% of the total capital, with Goldman Sachs’s interest at 19%.

However, this could be altered if any minority shareholders take up the offer to participate in the capital increase on equal terms with the new investors.

ATP and Goldman Sachs will be represented on the board of directors.

The agreement includes a commitment to seek an initial public offering (IPO) of DONG Energy when conditions are right.

If an IPO has not been completed following the release of financial statements for the 2017 financial year, the new investors will have the option to sell their shares back to the Danish state on pre-agreed terms.

The transaction should be concluded by the end of this year, following political approval and the consent of the Danish competition authorities.

The capital increase is part of DONG Energy’s financial action plan announced in February.

One of the objectives is to improve its net debt/earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to around 2.5 by end-2014.

The ratio is currently 3.5.

Claus Wiinblad, head of equities at ATP, said: “The investment offers interesting and attractive prospects, with a good risk/reward profile.

“We fully appreciate that, to fulfil certain projects, especially in wind power, DONG Energy needs more capital, and we have confidence in their business plan.”

The shares will make up less than 1% of ATP’s investment portfolio.

Wiinblad added: “We will be long-term shareholders, but, after the IPO, the investment will be managed as any other, so may be adjusted accordingly.”

In June, PFA announced it had bought DONG Energy’s onshore wind-power business in partnership with energy company SE for DKK760m.

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