Abu Dhabi's Taqa holds talks with Naturgy shareholders for potential deal

The Spanish company's stock jumped more than 6% following the announcement

Taqa is one of the largest integrated utilities in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Victor Besa / The National
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Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, better known as Taqa, has approached two shareholders of Spanish gas and power firm Naturgy Energy Group to discuss buying their shares in the company.

Taqa is holding discussions with buyout firms GIP and CVC to acquire their shares in Naturgy, according to a statement filed to Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange where Taqa shares are traded.

Taqa is also holding talks with Naturgy’s main shareholder, Spanish industrial holding company Criteria Caixa, regarding a “potential co-operation” agreement.

Following the announcement, Naturgy stock jumped 6.13 per cent to trade at €22.84 ($24.32) a share at 8.35pm on Wednesday. The stock has dipped more than 15 per cent so far this year.

“If such an acquisition occurs, this would trigger an offer for all the shares of Naturgy … no agreement has been reached with Criteria Caixa, CVC or GIP,” Taqa said in a statement.

Taqa is one of the largest integrated utilities in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. The company aims to triple its gross power capacity to 150 gigawatts by 2030, with renewable energy expected to make up more than 65 per cent of the mix.

Last month, Taqa and Japan’s Jera signed an agreement with a Saudi Aramco joint venture to build an electricity and steam generation plant in Saudi Arabia.

The plant, which is expected to be operational in 2027, will supply up to 475 megawatts of power and 452 tonnes per hour of steam to the planned $11 billion Amiral petrochemical complex in the city of Jubail in the kingdom's Eastern Province.

Taqa’s full-year 2023 net profit more than doubled amid strong demand for its transmission and distribution services.

Net income attributable to equity shareholders in the year that ended in December rose 107 per cent on an annual basis to Dh16.65 billion ($4.53 billion), the company said in February.

In January, it announced selling its stake in the Atrush oilfield in the Iraqi Kurdish region. The company, through its wholly owned subsidiary Taqa International, entered into a definitive agreement with General Exploration Partners to sell all of its interest in the oilfield.

Taqa bought a 53.2 per cent operating interest in the oilfield for $600 million from General Exploration Partners in 2013.

Updated: April 17, 2024, 5:40 PM