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Change in chairman of board of directors on 1 January 2010

(PresseBox) (Poschiavo, ) At the start of 2010, Dr Eduard Rikli will take over from Luzi Bärtsch as Chairman of the Rätia Energie Board of Directors. The change was decided before the annual general meeting back in May 2009. During his time as chairman, Bärtsch played a key role in the creation of Rätia Energie and its subsequent development into successful international group.

Luzi Bärtsch became chairman of the board of directors of Bündner Kraftwerke AG (BK) in 1997. In this capacity he led the project to merge Kraftwerke Brusio AG, Rhätische Werke and BK to form what is now Rätia Energie. In 2000 he was appointed the first chairman of the board of directors of Rätia Energie.

Since then the group has seen rapid expansion and success. Between 2000 and 2008, total operating revenue grew from CHF 263 million to around CHF 2 billion, operating results climbed from CHF 46 to well over CHF 100 million, and energy sales tripled. Now Rätia Energie employs more than 600 people, compared with around 200 back in 2000. In 2004 aurax joined the group, and in 2006 Rätia Energie acquired Italian distribution company Dynameeting.

Hallmarks of Luzi Bärtsch's term as chairman have been moves to increase the group's international scope and expand its trading business. The group has substantially improved its position in Italy and established its own subsidiary in Germany, and now operates on trading markets in Central and Eastern Europe from an office in Prague. Under Luzi Bärtsch's chairmanship, Rätia Energie has been able to harness the opportunities emerging from the liberalisation of electricity markets in Europe - although it has also had to witness the particularly hesitant progress of liberalisation in the Swiss market. In recent years, the group has also delivered or started preparing interesting power plant projects in various countries. Under the strategy formulated by the board of directors, Rätia Energie operates along the entire value chain in its key markets.

Rätia Energie is extremely grateful to Luzi Bärtsch for his hard work and dedication to the company, and for the success he has achieved on the group's behalf. As part of the process of gradually renewing the board of directors, Luzi Bärtsch has decided to step down at the end of 2009 before his regular term of office expires. In line with this decision, on 11 May 2009 the AGM elected Dr Eduard Rikli to the board of directors as chairman designate.

The board of directors has now constituted itself accordingly, and the official handover from Luzi Bärtsch to Dr Eduard Rikli will take place on 1 January 2010.

Eduard Rikli (born 1951) grew up in the Engadine, and until the end of 2009 served as CEO of the Bielbased Mikron Group.

In addition to this, the board of directors has appointed Rino Caduff, who heads Rätia Energie Switzerland, and Fabio Bocchiola, who heads Rätia Energie Italy, to the Group Executive Board. This move will reinforce management resources at the executive board level to enable it to address the current expanded areas of responsibility and effectively manage future growth.