April 16, 2018 / 10:18 AM / a year ago

Dutch energy company Eneco seeks new CEO as privatisation looms

AMSTERDAM, April 16 (Reuters) - Eneco, the Dutch energy company on the verge of being privatised, is looking for a new chief executive to replace Jeroen de Haas who will step down on Sept. 1, its supervisory board said on Monday.

The decision to appoint a new CEO was reached “in close consultation” with De Haas, the board said, while declining to clarify the reasons for his departure.

In recent months, De Haas, who has led Eneco since 2007, has clashed with a group representing shareholders over the company’s sale process.

The 53 cities that currently own Eneco voted by a large majority to sell the company in October, but met resistance from the company’s boards, which preferred a stock market listing or partial sale that would ensure its continuity as a renewables-oriented firm.

After months of feuding, shareholders and Eneco’s management boards finally agreed in February the firm would be sold, paving the way for a privatisation in the coming months.

Details of the sale process have not yet been made public.

Company spokesman Edwin van de Haar said de Haas’ departure was not expected to have any effect on the sale.

Eneco, estimated to be worth around 4 billion euros ($4.9 billion), is heavily invested in sustainable energy projects and could appeal to energy companies that want to increase exposure to renewable production.

Potential bidders include Royal Dutch Shell, Total SA, Enel,, Engie, Verbund , Orsted and Fortum.

$1 = 0.8092 euros Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Mark Potter

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