Engie plans to acquire RWE’s renewable energy unit Innogy, reports

A PV plant built by German developer Belectric.

The French energy giant Engie is planning to acquire German renewable energy company Innogy, a unit of Germany’s power provider RWE, according to Bloomberg, which cited an unidentified source familiar with the matter.

The article reports that Engie is now conducting preliminary deliberations and that a final decision has not yet been taken. Innogy had a market value of approximately €18.6 billion ($19.8 billion) at the close of final trading on Mar. 13, according to Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, German financial newspaper Handelsblatt reported RWE’s Rolf Martin Schmitz as saying that although the company is always considering every option, and is constantly in talks with all market players, a 2015 board resolution obliges the group to maintain a 51% stake in the unit. This means it can sell only the remainder of the 77% stake it currently holds.

Innogy completed the acquisition of German PV power and storage specialist Belectric in January 2017. Through this acquisition, Innogy added much-needed large-scale solar PV and storage capabilities to its portfolio. Belectric’s global portfolio consists of 280 utility-scale solar plants and rooftop arrays, amounting to more than 1.5 GW of installed solar capacity.

Engie has started to expand in the renewable energy sector over the past two years. In May 2016, it acquired 80% of Green Charge Networks (Green Charge), a battery storage company based in California. In July 2015, Engie had acquired a 95% stake in French solar developer Solairedirect for $222 million. The company is currently active in the PV sector through its subsidiaries Engie Green, La Compagnie du Vent, La Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR) and Solairedirect.