The major corporation Royal Dutch Shell and the Dutch pension fund manager PGGM are considering a joint bid for Eneco, one of the largest natural gas and electricity suppliers in the Netherlands.
Eneco's 53 municipal shareholders said they would sell the company, which valued analysts worth more than three billion euros, during an auction during the year after a heated debate with the board had led to one Listing preferred.
"We would like to reaffirm our shared interest in starting a dialogue with the Eneco Shareholders' Committee, its Board of Directors, management and other stakeholders to further explore the opportunities for the acquisition of Eneco," Shell and PGGM said in an open letter.
Shell, which has a stake in offshore wind projects across Europe with Eneco, has focused the company on sustainable energy projects as the major wants to expand its presence in renewable gas and electricity generation.
The Anglo-Dutch company - such as French Total and Spanish Repsol - has made acquisitions along the power supply chain, including First Utility in the UK, providing direct access to retail electricity customers for the first time.
Eneco offers energy services for the home, from smart thermostats to chargers for electric cars. These new companies can work alongside the traditional operations of an oil and gas company.
"Both PGGM and Shell are set [to] continue to invest in renewable energy, especially in north-western Europe, "both companies said without making any financial statements.
If the deal goes through, it would be another reflection of a sector that is rediscovering or threatened with extinction in a world where a major departure from dirty forms of energy is expected in the coming decades.
Shell and other energy companies are under pressure from investors to invest more in cleaner fuels and limit their contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, even though they are struggling only with similar returns to their core oil and gas businesses.
Shell has committed to spend more than $ 1 billion a year on low carbon companies, but this is still a fraction of the $ 25 billion annual investment budget.
Large institutional shareholders who are increasingly aware of the financial risks associated with investing in fossil fuels when energy or business becomes uneconomic are strongly focused on sustainability.
"PGGM sees sustainability as a cornerstone of its retirement investment policy. This will lead to long-term investments in the energy transition around the world to accelerate this transition as much as possible, "the letter said.