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UPDATE 1-Dutch end exclusive talks with Germany over TenneT grid stake sale

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AMSTERDAM, Feb 2 (Reuters) - The Dutch government said on Tuesday that talks on Germany taking an equity stake in grid company TenneT have stalled over the question of which would control the company’s German subsidiary.

Talks with Germany are continuing but no longer on an exclusive basis, with the Dutch government considering other options, including selling a stake in TenneT to private investors, Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra said in a letter to parliament.

The Netherlands, which owns TenneT, signed an agreement with Germany in May 2020 to explore the sale of a stake in TenneT in order to help fund the company’s ambitious investment plan of up to 50 billion euros over the coming decade, around 70% of which will take place in Germany.

Much of that investment is needed to support a larger amount of renewable energy on the grids of northwest Europe, including support for offshore wind farms and more interconnections between countries.

Hoekstra said in a letter to parliament that after new calculations, the company’s Dutch arm won’t need fresh cash until 2023 and its German arm not until 2024. Previously the company had been seen needing cash by the end of this year.

The two countries opened talks over TenneT, which is the largest grid operator in both the Netherlands and Germany, amid sentiment that taxpayers for one country should not finance the national grid in the other country, or be exposed to large cross-border risks. (Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by Kirsten Donovan and Jason Neely)

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