Mitsubishi beats Shell in deal for $4.5bn renewables player Eneco

Mitsubishi beats Shell in deal for $4.5bn renewables player Eneco

A Mitsubishi Corporation-led partnership has struck a deal to buy Netherlands utility Eneco, strengthening the Japanese giant’s position in European renewables and fighting off competition from oil giant Shell.

Mitsubishi will buy Eneco in an 80/20 consortium with fellow Japanese group Chubu in a deal that values the utility at €4.1bn ($4.5bn), saying the Dutch company will become “the European centre for all energy-related activities of Mitsubishi Corporation”.

The acquisition – which still needs shareholder approval – will see Mitsubishi transfer its European offshore wind interests, totaling more than 400MW, to Eneco. The Japanese group’s forays in Europe so far include the Borssele 3&4 Dutch offshore wind project as a minority shareholder with both Eneco itself and Shell, which was also interested in the utility.

Eneco, the Netherland’s largest utility already owns 427MW of offshore wind, along with almost 1.7GW of onshore turbines and 300MW of solar. It is seen as one of Europe’s most forward-thinking groups in areas such as EVs and energy storage.

Eneco’s board said it was attracted by Mitsubishi’s plans to leave the Eneco brand and culture intact. The utility was put up for sale in late 2018, with private equity group KKR also said to be interested.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is half owner of MHI Vestas, the global offshore wind turbine OEM giant.