Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2009 (Revised January 2011)

Enel: Power, Russia, and Global Markets

by Rawi E. Abdelal, Richard H.K. Vietor and Sogomon Tarontsi


Although the global trend toward liberalization of electric utilities forced Enel, the largest power company in Italy, to give up some of its assets in its home base, it also opened up many opportunities abroad, including in Russia, one of the largest electricity markets in the world. The case outlines Enel's internationalization strategy and then focuses on one piece of the company's strategic puzzle of global expansion: acquisition of major power-generation assets in the course of the break-up of RAO UES, the Russian electricity monopoly. The case highlights the decision-making process by the company executives in the context of possible political risks to foreign investment in Russian strategic industries and economic risks to investment in the yet-to-be-formed liberalized and deregulated electricity market in Russia.

Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Energy Generation; Foreign Direct Investment; Global Strategy; Globalized Firms and Management; Globalized Markets and Industries; Business and Government Relations; Utilities Industry; Russia; Italy;


Abdelal, Rawi E., Richard H.K. Vietor, and Sogomon Tarontsi. "Enel: Power, Russia, and Global Markets." Harvard Business School Case 709-046, May 2009. (Revised January 2011.)