Exclusive Chinese Firms Bid for German Waste Management Firm Worth Nearly $2 Billion

Two Chinese firms and two European companies are bidding to buy German waste management company EEW, Energy from Waste, for as much as €1.8 billion, or $2 billion, Handelsblatt has learned. If one of the two Chinese firms, China Tianying or Beijing Enterprises, succeeds in buying EEW for €1.8 billion, it would be the biggest Chinese takeover in Germany ever, topping the $1-billion deal of machine maker KraussMaffei announced two weeks ago. The two Chinese firms expect they have a good chance of winning the bidding process, thanks to their well-funded owners or backers, people familiar with the matter told Handelsblatt. Ping An, China’s second-largest insurance company, is one of the owners of Tianying, a publicly-listed waste management and energy producer in China. In addition to the two Chinese firms, German power station operator Steag has teamed up with Australian investor Macquarie Group to bid for EEW, while Finnish utility Fortum is also in the running, people familiar with the sale told Handelsblatt, confirming an earlier report by Reuters. The EEW owner, Swedish private equity firm EQT, has set a February 1 deadline to accept bids, the people said. EQT bought EEW from German utility E.ON in two transactions in 2012 and 2015. EEW operates 19 waste power plants to generate electricity, steam and heat. EEW made annual sales of more than €500 million and had an operating profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of around €190 million in 2015, Handelsblatt learned from people familiar with the company. EQT does not release results for its subsidiary.