Finnish utility Fortum to sell electricity distribution business for $3.5 billion

HELSINKI – Finnish utility Fortum Corp. is selling its electricity distribution sector in Finland to international and Finnish investors for 2.55 billion euros ($3.51 billion) and is preparing for the possible sale of similar businesses in Sweden and Norway.

The company says that once the deal is completed in early 2014 international infrastructure investors First State Investments and Borealis Infrastructure will own an 80 per cent stake of the distribution network. The remaining 20 per cent will be owned by a consortium of Finnish pension funds.

Fortum said Thursday that the decision came after it launched an assessment in January of “future alternatives.”

Fortum has 1.6 million electricity customers in the Nordic countries. It also has operations in the Baltic countries, Poland and Russia.