In the face of significant Spanish opposition, German utility E.ON has revealed that it would be happy to settle for just a majority share of takeover target Endesa.

According to a report by Reuters, E.ON chief executive officer Wulf Bernotat has admitted that it would still go ahead with its bid for the major Spanish energy supplier even if it could only gain 51% of the company, the minimum controlling share. The E.ON head added that his company would accept the remaining minority 49% being held by domestic firms.

One of our traditions is never to be minority shareholders. In Endesa, we would have to be the main shareholder. Once we had 51%, we could talk about alternative solutions, Mr Bernotat said in an interview with ABC newspaper, Reuters reports.

The conciliatory move from the German power giant comes as Spanish authorities continue to be staunch opponents of the firm’s interest. Madrid is believed to favor a bid from Endesa’s compatriot Gas Natural despite the fact that its current offer is significantly inferior to that of E.ON.

However, Mr Bernotat was dismissive of suggestions that E.ON’s complete takeover of Endesa could be waved through if the latter’s portfolio of nuclear energy assets was not included. The report says the E.ON boss described such a scenario as pathetic.

Meanwhile, heavily-courted Endesa considers both offers unwanted as it would prefer to stay in its current guise.