June 25, 2018 / 11:29 AM / a year ago

EDP chief in global roadshow after 'low' Chinese bid

FILE PHOTO: Portuguese electric power company Energias de Portugal (EDP) CEO Antonio Mexia speaks during a news conference in Lisbon, Portugal, June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes/File Photo

LISBON (Reuters) - EDP-Energias de Portugal CEO Antonio Mexia is touring London, Beijing and New York as he tries to convince investors that a takeover bid offered by China Three Gorges is too low while EDP (EDP.LS) seeks clarification from the bidder.

State-owned China Three Gorges, which is already EDP’s largest shareholder, last month launched a 9 billion euro ($10.4 billion) bid to take over the power utility with an offer of 3.26 euros per share.

EDP shares have been trading above the offer price, suggesting that investors expect a higher or rival bid.

The EDP board said the price did not reflect the value of the company, but signaled it is open to an improved offer and said that CTG’s strategic intentions, such as the plan to contribute some overseas assets to EDP, had some merit, but needed a lot more clarification.

“EDP is doing a roadshow which was in London last week and this week will be in Beijing and in New York next week. The chief executive will speak to investors and analysts,” an EDP spokesman said, adding that “the roadshow comes in the context of the need for more information and clarifications”.

CTG also offered 7.33 euros a share for EDP’s wind energy unit EDP Renovaveis, which the company also rejected as too low, while also pointing out that regulatory issues linked to a takeover by a Chinese company could seriously affect EDPR’s strategy in the United States, where it has large operations.

EDP shares were little changed on Monday at 3.4 euros, while EDPR stocks were up 2 percent at 8.49 euros.

Activist shareholders and other investors have been buying stakes in EDPR and teaming up to appoint board members in the hope of getting a better price from CTG or other bidders.

Reporting by Sergio Goncalves; writing by Andrei Khalip; editing by Axel Bugge and Jason Neely

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