Recent media reports from Madrid appear to suggest that the way has been officially cleared for some 15,000 shareholders who have already accepted Gas Natural's E21.3 per share bid for the firm to switch their allegiance to a rival offer.

<p>The AFX news agency cites a report in El Economista magazine, which claims that Spain&#0039;s stock market regulator has agreed the change, which goes against standard practice in Spanish M&A activity.<br /><br />The change could pave the way for Gas Natural to drop its offer for Endesa altogether, which is a possibility since the bid is currently suspended following an appeal court verdict that went in Endesa&#0039;s favor. The 15,000 shareholders that have accepted the bid could then switch to the rival E27.5 per share offer for Endesa lodged by German utility E.ON. <br /><br />Meanwhile, another AFX report says that Endesa has dropped the court appeal it lodged in New York over alleged inaccuracies in Gas Natural&#0039;s US prospectus for its E22 billion bid. Endesa reportedly says that the lawsuit could be reopened in the future however.</p>