The sale of green energy producer Nature Energy is attracting initial interest from energy majors including BP Plc and Shell Plc, according to people familiar with the matter.
BlackRock Inc., Global Infrastructure Partners and EQT AB are also considering potential offers for the Danish company amid surging demand for alternative fuel sources, the people said. French utility Engie SA and private equity firm KKR & Co. have separately been studying the business, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.
Nature Energy could be valued at $2 billion or more in a sale, with first round bids expected in the coming weeks, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.
Deliberations are ongoing and there’s no certainty any of the suitors will decide to proceed with offers, according to the people. Nature Energy may also decide not to sell if its valuation expectations aren’t met, they said.
Representatives for BlackRock, BP, EQT, KKR and Shell declined to comment, while spokespeople for Engie, GIP and Nature Energy didn’t immediately provide comment.
Demand for renewable energy companies is high amid the global push to cut carbon emissions. The shift has been accelerated this year by Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has caused shortages of conventional gas and power and spurred the need to find alternatives.
Based in the Danish city of Odense, Nature Energy’s facilities treat biomass — waste from agriculture, industry and households — and convert it into biogas. The company has plans to spend about $5.5 billion on new plants, mostly in overseas markets, to tap rising demand.
Such businesses are attractive to big oil companies looking to become greener via acquisitions, as well as investors seeking to add more environmentally-friendly assets to their portfolios. BlackRock last month agreed to buy US-based renewable gas producer Vanguard Renewables.
Montauk Renewables Inc., which produces energy from methane collected at landfills, is another company exploring a potential sale, Bloomberg News reported this week.
Nature Energy is owned by hedge fund manager Davidson Kempner Capital Management, private equity firm Pioneer Point Partners and Danish pension fund Sampension.
–With assistance from Laura Hurst.
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