For E.ON the deal is part of a broad reshuffle that has focused the Dusseldorf-based utility on central European power generation. Two years ago CEO Johannes Teyssen said he would jettison €15 billion in assets by the end of this year to pay down debt and narrow his company's activities.
The Slovakian sale puts him across the finish line months earlier than expected.
"By selling the SPP stake and reaching our divestment goal early, we have quickly completed our focus on Europe quickly and with very attractive proceeds," Teyssen said in a statement.
The reshuffle became even more imperative when Berlin mandated an end to nuclear power generation in Germany by 2022 after the destruction of Japan's Fukushima plant following the tsunami and earthquake of March 2011. Teutonic utilities are now scrambling for cash to fund other generation sources to replace the looming loss of capacity.
E.ON's divestment program has also included a number of distribution grids, in keeping with the European Commission's efforts to separate power generation and distribution. E.ON has offloaded both a pan-European and an Italy-specific gas grid as well as its U.K. electricity network.
GdF Suez is also working to jettison what it sees as unnecessary businesses after its two-step, £22.8 billion ($36.6 billion) buyout of U.K. rival International Power plc last year.
On Tuesday the Paris-based utility said it had raised more than €5 billion through divestments and hoped to reel in a total €11 billion by the end of next year.
"We will pursue our development in Europe, focusing on a selection of attractive markets," said GDF President and Vice Chairman Jean-Francois Cirelli in a statement.
On the buy side, EPH may not yet be done. It's also participating in the as-much-as €2.4 billion auction of the Net4Gas Sro. The Czech gas pipeline is being sold by JPMorgan Chase & Co. on behalf of E.ON rival RWE AG.
By late morning in Europe, E.ON shares had slid 1.7%, or €0.24, to €13.97 and GdF had fallen just under 1%, or €0.14, to €15.29 following a report showing German economic growth slowed more than expected last year.
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Andy Levine, an M&A partner at Jones Day in New York, believes that increased buying activity by Chinese companies will be a key driver of global M&A over the next decade. The Chinese have been big buyers of natural resources in Australia, Africa and South America, and Shuanghui International Holdings' purchase of Smithfield Foods last year was a sign of China's increased interest in U.S. companies. The deal stirred some protectionist rumblings in the U.S., but CFIUS approved the transaction, and Levine believes that decision is a positive sign for the future of Chinese M&A activity in the U.S. More video