January 26, 2011 / 2:23 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Utilities Fortum, PVO to sell stakes in Fingrid

* Fortum to sell Fingrid stake to Finnish state, Ilmarinen

* PVO in talks with same buyers

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HELSINKI, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Finland’s top utility Fortum FUM1V.HE has signed a preliminary deal to sell its 25 percent stake in grid operator Fingrid for 325 million euros ($444.5 million) to the Finnish state and pension insurer Ilmarinen.

Fortum said it expected to book a gain of roughly 200 million euros, or 0.22 euros per share from the deal.

Another Finnish utility Pohjolan Voima (PVO), owned by Finnish energy and industrial companies, is also in talks to sell its 25 percent stake in Fingrid to the same buyers.

Forestry group UPM-Kymmene UPM1V.HE, the biggest shareholder in PVO with 43.09 percent, announced that once that deal is completed, it would book special income of 86 million euros from the sale.

The state will take about 81 percent and Ilmarinen about 19 percent of both stakes, according to Fortum and PVO.

The deals, which stemmed from a European Union call to separate transmission from power generation, will be completed during the first half of 2011, companies said.

Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl, editing by Jane Baird

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