Uniper acquisition leads to ratings downgrade for Fortum

Ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded Finland’s
Fortum, following its €3.8 billion acquisition of a 47.12% stake in E.On spinoff Uniper.

The agency said the deal would increase Fortum’s financial leverage, and although Fortum would be Uniper’s largest shareholder, it would not be in control of Uniper’s strategy. It was not clear how much synergy could be accused by the deal nor when the benefits would accrue.

The agency placed Fortum on negative watch, influenced in part by the potential for it to acquire a majority stake in Uniper. That could expose Fortum to more risk, Moody’s said, whereas more clarity on the company’s strategy might move the company from the ‘negative watch’ to ‘stable’ category.

Further reading:

New Power interviews Felix Lerch, Uniper’s UK chair