E.ON and RWE: To Swap or Not to Swap?
In 2018, the board of directors of the German utility company E.ON SE was presented with a deal for an asset swap with a major domestic competitor, RWE AG. The deal was meant to help the competitors cope with uncertainties and challenges caused by the ongoing transformation of the utility industry in Europe. In the proposed deal, a recently created RWE-spinoff, innogy SE, would be disassembled with the assets going to E.ON. Because RWE still held a 76.8 per cent stake in innogy, the transfer meant that E.ON could gain full control over innogy's assets. In exchange, RWE would gain a minority investment in E.ON and some other assets. A deal, if approved, would be a surprise to the stock market. Should E.ON's board approve it?