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Acciona, Enel Increase Their Share in Spain's Endesa

Spanish energy and infrastructure company Acciona and Italian power utility Enel have gained acceptances for 85.3% of the shares targeted in their tender for Endesa, bringing their combined ownership in the Spanish electricity company to more than 92%.

The Spanish stock market regulator said Friday more than 487.6 million shares had been tendered. Acciona and Enel were already the top shareholders in Endesa, with a combined 46% stake.

The successful tender marks the end of a two-year takeover fight which began in September 2005, when Spanish gas distributor Gas Natural launched a hostile cash-and-share offer for Endesa, which prompted counterbids from Germany's E.ON.

Acciona and Enel trumped E.ON's bid by acquiring stakes in Endesa, then in April the two companies formally launched a joint takeover bid for Endesa at 41.30 euros a share. The offer was later lowered, valuing Endesa at 42.53 billion euros ($60.01 billion).

The takeover fight caused a political headache for Spain's government, which initially supported Gas Natural's offer, sparking a conflict with the European Commission.

Earlier this year, E.ON agreed to step back from the bidding showdown in exchange for a plan to purchase about 10 billion euros worth of assets in Spain, Italy, France and Turkey currently in the hands of both bidders and Endesa.

Under the terms of Enel and Acciona's agreement, Endesa will remain a Spanish firm, controlled by a joint holding company in which Acciona will have a 50.01% majority. Acciona will appoint the executive chairman of Endesa, and Enel will appoint the chief executive.

Endesa's renewable energy assets will be merged with Acciona's energy division to create a separate renewable energy company in which Acciona will have at least a 51% stake and Endesa the remainder.

The Endesa takeover deal also stipulates a potential asset split between Acciona and Enel, if they encounter irreconcilable differences while managing the company.

Endesa shares were down 0.64% at 38.52 euros ($54.35).

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