Karlsruhe. Through their gas market joint venture, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG and Eni SpA have purchased a 62.22 percent stake in Gasversorgung Süddeutschland GmbH (GVS). The purchase agreements were signed on Thursday evening by the Land Baden-Württemberg, which held 25 percent of the GVS shares, six municipal shareholders with a total 37.22 interest in GVS, and the purchasers EnBW and Eni. Option agreements were also signed with two shareholders who together hold a 4.38 percent interest in GVS for the acquisition of their holdings. In addition, the EnBW-Eni joint venture intends to take over the 33.4 percent stake in GVS currently held by EnBW Group company Neckarwerke Stuttgart AG (NWS). This would take the stake of the joint venture in GVS to 95.62 percent. All agreements are subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities, and the contracting parties expect this approval to be announced before the end of the summer.
At the signing ceremony, EnBW Board member Pierre Lederer underlined the intention to turn GVS into an active player in the deregulated German gas market. He said that pooling of the strengths of EnBW (partnership concept, experience at municipal level, and sales expertise in Germany) and Eni (procurement and transport know-how as well as access to its own gas) will create a strong alliance for Germany, and that the cooperation-based venture between Eni, EnBW and GVS will prove a fair and reliable partner for the municipalities and their utilities.
"We are extremely pleased to have concluded the acquisition of Gasversorgung Süddeutschland today in cooperation with our partner EnBW", said Vittorio Mincato, CEO of Eni. "This is an important step for Eni in the expansion of its gas business in a market the size of Germany. It is the fourth successful major transaction of this kind for us, following our entry into the Portuguese market, where we took over 33.34 percent of GALP, the signing of commercial agreements in Spain, where the supply of 1.5 billion cubic metres of gas each year for a period of more than ten years has already begun, and following the agreement to supply up to 16 billion cubic metres of gas each year to Turkey via the recently completed BlueStream pipeline in cooperation with Gazprom ".
Via its 1,881-kilometre long-distance network, Gasversorgung Süddeutschland GmbH (Stuttgart) supplies energy directly and indirectly to around 750 towns and communities. In fiscal 2000/2001, GVS recorded power supplies of 74,223 gigawatt-hours (GWh) and sales of around Euro 1.7 million.
Eni SpA (Rome), one of the world's leading energy companies, posted sales of Euro 48.9 billion and net income of Euro 7.8 billion in 2001. In the gas sector, Eni can draw on an almost unique network of own generating and production facilities, secure procurement sources and transport networks extending over several continents.
With over 4.5 million energy customers, annual sales of Euro 7.9 billion, and net income of Euro 272 million (2001), the EnBW Group is one of the fastest-growing companies in Germany and in the deregulated European energy markets.