Karlsruhe. In a successful further step in the restructuring strategy that it has been pursuing since 2003, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG has sold its 6.33% holding in Österreichische Elektrizitätswirtschafts-AG ("Verbund") in Vienna to around 100 internationally reputed institutional investors within the framework of an accelerated global tender. The transaction volume totals almost 300 million euros.
The sale by no means signals the withdrawal of EnBW from the Austrian market but rather its intention as one of the most influential foreign energy suppliers to focus on its strategic holding in Energieversorgung Niederösterreich (EVN).
The placement of the approx. 1.95 million Verbund shares followed a six-day roadshow covering potential investors in Austria, Switzerland, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Due to the high demand and the high oversubscription rates, the books were closed on November 16, 2004 on the very first day of the bookbuilding phase. The placement price was 144 euros/share. Despite the technical challenges resulting from a low free float (previously 15.7%), the low trading volume and an above-average valuation, the placement was a great success involving only a minor discount on the closing price prior to the start of bookbuilding. The placement volume was equivalent to more than 200 times the average daily trading volume of the share and therefore far outperformed the average volume for transactions of a comparable nature.
The bank consortium was led by Merrill Lynch as global coordinator and Raiffeisen Centrobank as Austrian co-manager. Metzler Corporate Finance acted as financial advisor to EnBW.
This financially and technically demanding and complex placement is the most successful foreign transaction in the recent history of EnBW, and the company succeeded in achieving an extremely attractive level of revenue from the sale. The Austrian market will remain in the focus of EnBW's business strategy in the years and decades to come.