ScottishPower Surges as E.ON Mulls [Pounds Sterling]10bn-Plus Bid

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES ASHTON

THE lights may go out on struggling ScottishPower's independence after German energy giant E.ON said it was mulling a [pounds sterling]10bn-plus cash bid.

E.ON, which already owns Powergen, was forced by the Takeover Panel to make a statement after SP's shares soared 211/2p to 5461/2p - close to a five-year high.

News that the German firm has appointed merchant bank Lazard for advice illustrates that big cross-border deals are back in vogue.

Deutsche Post is also pursuing trucker Exel and Saint-Gobain wants to buy plasterboard maker BPB.

SP has looked vulnerable since it announced plans in May to offload US arm Pacifi-Corp to one of Warren Buffett's companies for [pounds sterling]5.1bn.

That deal, which led to a [pounds sterling]927m loss, is still six months from completion.

Boss Ian Russell placated shareholders with the promise of returning [pounds sterling]2. …