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E.On May Expand Stake in Sydkraft

January 24, 2001

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ The power and chemicals concern E.On AG said Wednesday it was considering whether to increase its stake in Sydkraft AB, Sweden’s largest publicly traded power producer.

Earlier this month, E.On enlarged its stake in Sydkraft to 29 percent of its stock and 43 percent of its voting rights.

E.On, Germany’s second biggest power producer, has the option to offer to buy a majority stake in the company, but it could be blocked from a complete buyout by Norwegian power company Statkraft, which currently owns 37 percent of Sydkraft’s stock and 29 percent of its voting rights.

E.On was formed in 1999 through the merger of utility rivals Veba AG and Viag AG, part of a rapid consolidation in the European energy industry. The company has often said it wants to expand across Europe.

Separately, the company said Otto Majewski, deputy chairman of its rapidly expanding utility arm, will step down March 15, pending approval of the E.On supervisory board.

Majewski came under fire after denying reports that his company was in takeover talks with Britain’s PowerGen, which generates about 14 percent of the electricity needs of England and Wales.

Majewski was authorized only to give ``no comment″ about possible negotiations, and both companies were later forced to confirm the talks to correct his statement.

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