January 24, 2019 / 3:01 PM / 9 months ago

Portugal's regulator says no sign CTG looking to drop bid for EDP

LISBON (Reuters) - There are no signs that China Three Gorges (CTG) is preparing to abandon its 9 billion euro (8 billion pounds)takeover bid for EDP-Energias de Portugal , an administrator at Portugal’s CMVM securities market regulator said on Thursday.

State-owned CTG, which is already the largest shareholder in EDP with a 23 percent stake, launched its bid for Portugal’s biggest company in May last year. The deal needs regulatory approval in a number of countries, including Brazil, the United States, Portugal and the European Union.

“CMVM maintains close contacts with the bidder,” said Joao Geao, a CMVM administrator, when asked by reporters why the bid was taking so much time.

CTG needs “administrative authorisations in a large group of jurisdictions” before it can make the final, formal bid registration with CMVM, said Geao. “There is nothing new.”

“It would be a problem for CMVM if we were to confirm that there was an abandonment of the processes (for authorisation of the bid) that depend on CMVM, but that is not the case,” he added.

EDP’s board has rejected the 3.26 euros a share offer by CTG as too low, as did the board of its wind energy unit EDP Renovaveis, which has said that a takeover by a Chinese company could seriously affect its strategy in the United States, possibly causing objections from U.S. authorities.

The offer could run into regulatory obstacles in Europe because the Chinese state already owns a large stake in Portugal’s power grid operator REN.

Reporting By Sergio Goncalves, writing by Axel Bugge, editing by Andrei Khalip and Elaine Hardcastle

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