November 15, 2018 / 2:24 PM / 25 days ago

Norway's Hafslund plans tie-up with rival power utility Eidsiva

OSLO, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Hafslund E-CO, Norway’s largest power utility by customer numbers, plans to merge key parts of its operations with smaller rival Eidsiva in the country’s largest electricity market tie-up in decades, the companies said on Thursday.

The deal, if completed, will combine the 720,000 customers of Hafslund E-CO with Eidsiva’s 162,000 in a jointly owned company providing power grids and other services, including broadband and bio energy.

“Such a merger would boost their capacity to pay a dividend to their municipal shareholders and continue to improve and innovate in a rapidly changing electrical power system,” the publicly owned companies said in a joint statement.

Hafslund E-CO, which is fully owned by the Oslo municipality, will retain majority control of its power production assets, which generate almost 13 terrawatt hours (TWh) a year.

Eidsiva, heaquartered in the town of Hamar, operates power grids in regions north of Oslo.

The deal’s value was not revealed and has yet to receive the required government approval.

The second-largest power company in Norway, which has a population of about 5.3 million, is BKK with close to 200,000 customers. (Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos Editing by Terje Solsvik and David Goodman)

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