July 10, 2018 / 4:03 PM / a year ago

Portugal wants EDP to maintain local HQ, won't comment on other bids

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Portuguese utility company EDP - Energias de Portugal is seen at the company's offices in Oviedo, Spain, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Eloy Alonso/File Photo

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal’s government wants the headquarters of EDP (EDP.LS) and its renewable unit, EDPR (EDPR.LS), to remain in Lisbon and it will not comment on possible other bidding interest for EDP, the secretary of state for energy said on Tuesday.

State-owned China Three Gorges launched a takeover bid for the part of EDP that it does not already own on May 11, offering a 5 percent premium in a deal valued at 9.07 billion euros.

But EDP, Portugal’s largest company, has said the bid is too low and analysts have said there could be competing bids. EDP Chief Executive Antonio Mexia has held a roadshow to try to convince investors the bid is too low.

“We don’t make any opinion about this because this is an issue which has to do with the shareholders,” secretary of state Jorge Seguro Sanchez told journalists on the sidelines of a conference, when asked about potential other bids for EDP.

“These kind of decisions are not up to the government in any way,” he said. “What the government wants to know above all? Whether these companies continue to be Portuguese companies in the future, with headquarters in Portugal.”

Industry sources have told Reuters that Portugal’s government would prefer CTG to buy EDP as other bidders could break the company up or move its headquarters elsewhere.

Reporting By Sergio Goncalves, writing by Axel Bugge; editing by David Evans

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