December 18, 2018 / 3:26 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Dutch energy company Eneco to be sold via auction

(Adds detail, background)

AMSTERDAM, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Dutch energy company Eneco will be privatised via an auction next year, the company and its shareholders said on Tuesday.

The decision marks the end of a heated battle between the 53 municipalities that own Eneco and the company’s board.

The shareholders voted by a large majority to sell the company in October last year, but the board said it would prefer a stock market listing or partial sale that would ensure continuity as a renewables-oriented company.

The dispute led to the dismissal of both the company’s CEO and chairman as well as an investigation into board decisions.

The decision to opt for an auction, however, was finally supported by all parties, spokesman Edwin van der Haar said, with a final decision on the sale expected by the end of next year.

Eneco, estimated by analysts to be worth about 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion), is heavily invested in sustainable energy projects and could appeal to energy companies that want to increase exposure to renewable energy production. ($1 = 0.8798 euros) (Reporting by Bart Meijer Editing by David Goodman)

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