Mitsubishi cements European expansion with seal set on Eneco takeover

Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Corporation and compatriot Chubu Electric Power have finalised the acquisition of the largest utility in the Netherlands, Eneco.

Mitsubishi had previously said it would buy 80% of Eneco, with Chubu holding the remainder, in a deal that values the utility at €4.1bn ($4.5bn) to place the Dutch company at the centre of its European energy activities.

“We are committed to fully endorse, strengthen and contribute to the further national and international development of Eneco’s strategy,” said Mitsubishi CEO Takehiko Kakiuchi.

“This includes, among others, continuing to invest in sustainable assets, innovative products and services, research and development and the expansion of the [energy] activities of Eneco.”

Eneco will remain intact as an integrated and independent Dutch energy company, Mitsubishi stated.

Mitsubishi already holds stakes in European offshore wind interests totalling more than 400MW that it plans to transfer to Eneco, which itself owns 427MW of offshore wind, and almost 1.7GW of onshore turbines and 300MW of PV.

Among them is a stake in the Borssele 3&4 project in the Dutch North Sea, which has Japanese-Danish offshore wind turbine maker MHI Vestas – which is half-owned by Mitsubishi – as preferred supplier.

The completion of the deal first announced in November 2019 was possible following the approval of the Dutch economics and climate ministry, the Belgian energy ministry, and competition authorities in Germany and the European Commission.

Eneco CEO Ruud Sondag is stepping down from the management board, and the utility’s supervisory board is in an advanced phase of selecting a replacement. Former chairman of transmission system operator TenneT, Mel Kroon, will become the new chairman of Eneco’s supervisory board.