EU: Investors seek Uniper split to end Fortum deadlock

Uniper should explore a deeper break-up to overcome antitrust hurdles that have prevented Finland’s Fortum from taking full control of the German utility, activist investor Knight Vinke said on Monday, April 22.

Knight Vinke wants Uniper’s management to table a motion at the May 22 annual shareholder’s meeting to prepare a spin-off of Unipro, a major Russian utility, reported Reuters on Monday.

Finnish state-backed Fortum has since 2018 accumulated a 49.9% stake in Uniper, but Russian authorities have stopped it from gaining full control, arguing that a water-testing license owned by Unipro cannot be majority owned by a foreign state entity.

The power struggle has created tensions at Uniper, and its chief executive and finance chief, who had both openly opposed Fortum’s takeover plan, reported Reuters.

“We and other shareholders are very concerned at the state of quasi-paralysis caused by Uniper and its largest shareholder being unable to agree on a strategy for the company for more than a year,” Knight Vinke wrote in the letter.

Full Content: Reuters

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