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Shareholders accept Uniper's spin-off, major changes to the board

  • 09 Jun 16

E.On’s shareholders approved on 8 June 2016 the spin-off of a 53.35% majority stake in Uniper. The decision for the spin-off was supported by 99.68% of the share capital represented at the meeting (where 75% was needed for acceptance). The decision will take effect in the second half of 2016, when E.On’s shareholders will then automatically receive Uniper shares in a one-to-ten ratio: one Uniper share for every ten E.On shares they hold. Shareholders also approved the actions of the Management Board and Supervisory Board during the 2015 financial year as well as the dividend of €0.50 per share proposed by the Management and Supervisory Boards. In addition, shareholders have voted for Karl-Ludwig Kley to be the new Chairman of the E.On SE Board. He will succeed Werner Wenning, who has decided to step down at his own request. Wenning had been a member of E.On’s Board since April 2008 and its Chairman since May 2011. The Annual Shareholders Meeting also elected four other members to E.On’s Supervisory Board and resolved to increase the number of members from 12 to 18 until 2018: Erich Clementi, Senior Vice President for Sales and Distribution at IBM, Carolina Dybeck Happe is CFO of ASSA ABLOY AB, a publicly-listed company in Sweden which manufactures lock and security systems, Andreas Schmitz, an attorney and bank manager Ewald Woeste who has comprehensive knowledge of the energy industry. Three new employee representatives will also join the enlarged Board structure. A total of five female members will on the Board. Moreover changes in the remuneration of Management and Board members have been accepted, whereby the Management Board will be obliged to invest significantly in E.On stock and hold the corresponding number of shares. The annual remuneration will be based on EPS, as this will be the figure used to determine the dividend in the coming years. Moreover, remuneration for a period of several years will depend on the relative movement of E.On stock in comparison to its main European competitors, as measures would be taken based on the relative total shareholder return. The new remuneration system will become effective from 2017 onwards.

Capital markets day: spin-off information and guidance

  • 27 Apr 16

A first look into the spin-off decision has been provided by the company, in which E.On will list 53.35% of Uniper later this year, to fully deconsolidate the assets. No date or IPO price has yet been set for the operation although the listing is expected in H2 16. Nevertheless, E.On expects to fully dispose of the remaining stake of the company by 2018. Each E.On shareholder will receive Uniper shares with a 10:1 allotment ratio. The company is expected to be listed on the N-DAX. In terms of guidance, EBITDA should be between €4.6bn and €5bn, operating profit €2.7-3.1bn, with underlying net income expected to be €0.6-1.0bn. This would translate into an EPS between €0.3 and €0.5, with a payout ratio of 40-60%, which implies a dividend payment of €0.12 to €0.15/share. Moreover it targets a BBB+/Baa1 rating, a ROCE between 8% and 10% and an EPS CAGR of 5-10%. Uniper is committed to pay €200m for the 2016 dividend, translating into a €0.55/share (at 365.96m shares). The dividend for 2017 forward will be aligned to free cash flows, which implies that it will be volatile. For E.On, the dividend received from Uniper will contribute to the free cash flow. The combined dividend between E.On and Uniper implies a dividend payment of about €0.30/share, which translates into a 40% decrease from 2015 levels and is still 25% below consensus expectations. For E.On, capex will be around €10bn up until 2018 with €3.6bn expected for 2016. Given the high capex needs, net debt is expected to increase in the coming years and pressure will be felt on the rating side (in addition to mounting pressure on the provisions level for nuclear assets). Moreover, both companies (E.On and Uniper) have presented their management teams, board members and the management incentive schemes (based now on E.On vs Stoxx 600 utility performance and EPS growth).