Stuttgart. The restructuring process is nearly complete at Gasversorgung Süddeutschland GmbH (GVS). Following the transfer of 97.81 percent of the holdings in GVS to EnBW ENI Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, Karlsruhe on December 27, 2002, the first shareholders' meeting with the new make-up took place on Friday (January 31, 2003). Stadtwerke Ulm/Neu-Ulm GmbH will retain its 2.19 percent holding in GVS for the time being.
The changes at shareholder level also herald changes in the GVS management team. The current Managing Director, Jürgen Leßner, who would have retired on March 31 of this year, will now be withdrawing from this office as of February 15. After almost 35 years of successful work at GVS, Leßner has made this decision to ensure that - after the long drawn-out takeover process - the company can take the necessary steps under its new leadership to face the challenges of the future in an increasingly deregulated natural gas market. Jürgen Leßner will continue to perform various duties on behalf of the company until the end of March.
Manlio La Loggia was appointed a further Managing Director of GVS (as of February 1, 2003). La Loggia was born in 1958 and was awarded a degree in Mechanical Engineering by the University of Genoa (Italy) in 1986. Following an initial period of employment in the field of nuclear planning, he joined the ENI Group. Up to the present time, La Loggia has worked in the oil sector and subsequently in the natural gas sector in Italy, Switzerland and Germany. He was later put in charge of the expansion of the gas transport system in Austria, and was (as Managing Director) responsible for restructuring a natural gas company to prepare it for the demands of a deregulated gas industry.
Jörg Burkhardt (52) will retain his position as Technical Director of GVS. Burkhardt has played a central role in the successful technological development of GVS in recent years and will be responsible for continuation of this work geared towards optimising the standing of the company in the competitive market.
"Our aim is to establish GVS as a competitive player as quickly as possible and to position the company as a customer-oriented provider in the German gas market", said Pierre Lederer, a member of the Board of Management of EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG. Lederer said that EnBW is hoping for rapid implementation of the overall integrated concept developed in cooperation with ENI. This concept provides for the procurement of gas from different regions via efficient transport and distribution networks and extends all the way to a strategy for the competitive supply of energy and expert services to customers. As the fourth-largest long-distance gas provider in Germany operating a long-distance network with a total length of 1,881 kilometres, GVS is the ideal partner for the planned extraction, transport and distribution chain.
"Our activities at all points along the value added chain in the gas sector will generate a competitive edge that we will exploit together with our partners EnBW and GVS", said Domenico Dispenza, a member of the Management Board at ENI. Lederer and Dispenza believe that the pooling of the strengths of EnBW (partnership concept, municipal experience and sales expertise in Germany) and ENI (procurement and transport know-how, marketing experience, and access to its own gas sources) will create a strong alliance in the German gas market that will not only secure the financial survival and independence of GVS but also generate growth potential outside Baden-Württemberg.