China tries to buy stake in German grid operator 50Hertz – again
Chinese grid operator SGCC is again trying to obtain a 20 percent share in German transmission network operator 50Hertz, Klaus Stratmann reports for the business daily Handelsblatt. In March 2018, SGCC failed to buy a 20 percent stake in 50Hertz, when Belgian majority shareholder Elia exercised its right of first refusal and increased its ownership in the east German grid operator to 80 percent. Now the last 20 percent, owned by Australian infrastructure fund IFM, is apparently also on offer. Neither SGCC nor IFM commented on the process. The German government is under pressure from the opposition parties to better protect critical infrastructure like power grids from foreign company takeovers, but will likely not be able to stop the sale to the Chinese grid operator in this particular case, Stratmann writes.