The proposed takeover by Spanish gas distributor Gas Natural of national power giant Endesa has been approved by Spain's CNE energy commission.

CNE approved the technical document outlining the proposed takeover, although conditions were made on the approval which prevent Gas Natural from using Endesa assets as guarantees for the purchase and oblige the execution of a plan that would see a total of €17 billion invested from 2006-2009. CNE also prevents the subsidiaries of the new group from taking part in regulated businesses that do not pay dividends.

Endesa has released a statement saying that it will appeal against the CNE ruling to the minister for industry. In addition, Endesa plans to lodge a formal complaint with the European authorities in the coming days.

Endesa claims that examination of the resolution reveals that the CNE adopted the resolution on the basis of data put forward by Gas Natural, the bulk of which it describes as “prudent”. In this heedless way, says Endesa, the CNE has given the green light to an operation that will affect 52% of the regulated income of the gas and electricity sectors based on data provided – in the main – by only one of the parties involved.

The takeover is still pending approval from the European Commission, which is expected to make a decision in the coming week. Gas Natural made its hostile $28 billion takeover bid for Endesa in September.