German power firm Innogy boosted by latest utility shake-up

German giants Eon and RWE strike major deal, move closer together

Germany's top utilities on Sunday announced plans to break up Innogy, whose assets will be divided among parent RWE and rival E.ON in the sector's biggest overhaul since a landmark move to exit nuclear power. Chief executive Peter Terium resigned late a year ago in the wake of a profit warning leaving Uwe Tigges as interim CEO.

With the exchange of shares, the two companies practically share the market.

And the deal could see the creation of a new European renewables giant.

The German energy giants confirmed an agreement has been reached, subject to board approval, after reports over the weekend revealed a complex cash, shares, and assets deal was under negotiation.

Innogy and E.ON have large overlapping retail businesses in Germany and Britain.

Furthermore, E.ON would transfer to RWE the minority interests in RWE-operated German nuclear power plants, the innogy gas storage business and its stakes in the Austrian utility Kelag, the statement said.

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RWE would, in turn, gain an effective participation of 16.67 percent in E.ON.

The all-German transaction comes less than two years after E.ON and RWE both split up their businesses to separate legacy fossil fuel power plants from more promising networks and renewable assets.

If approved, the deal would spell the end for Innogy as a standalone company.

The deal would give E.ON greater economies of scale in power distribution and retail and RWE in renewables, making it easier for them to cope with Germany's rapid shift to cleaner energy sources.

Innogy, in turmoil since former Chief Executive Peter Terium resigned in December, on Monday said controllable costs would be slashed by about 400 million euros ($499 million) through the end of 2020.

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