RWE and Essent sign offer agreement

Essent Central Works Council provides positive advice

(PresseBox) ( Essen, )
RWE AG and Essent N.V., the Arnhem-based leading Dutch utility, have today reached another milestone on their way to completing the companies' proposed partnership. Following receipt of positive advice from the Essent Central Works Council, which was a requirement under Dutch law, RWE and Essent have now formally signed the offer agreement. In the agreement, RWE makes a binding all-cash offer to the shareholders of Essent for the acquisition of all the issued and outstanding shares of Essent.

The companies had already reached agreement on the terms and conditions of the offer agreement in January of this year. RWE will not be acquiring Essent's electricity and gas distribution networks and waste management operations.

Dr. Leonard Birnbaum, Chief Strategy Officer of RWE AG, said: "We are very pleased that we can count on the support of the Essent Central Works Council. This has allowed us to take another crucial step in designing our joint future with Essent. We are continuously pursuing our aim to strengthen our position as one of Europe's leading energy companies, increase security of supply in North-Western Europe and contribute to making sustainable and affordable energy available in the Netherlands."

The transaction remains subject to certain pre-completion conditions, such as at least 80% of the issued and outstanding share capital of Essent being tendered under the offer, successful completion of Essent's unbundling process and divestment of its waste business and obtaining the required anti-trust clearances. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2009.

Essent is one of the leading energy companies in the Netherlands and delivers electricity, gas and heat to household and business customers. Essent, with an annual turnover in 2007 of EURO 7.4bn, including the distribution network and waste business, is active in the complete energy value chain from production to delivery to the end customer. The company considers the Netherlands as its domestic market but has built up a significant market share in Germany and is increasingly active in Belgium. The company's environmental branch processes waste into energy and electricity. Essent (excluding the network distribution and waste management business) has pro forma estimated revenues and a pro forma normalised EBITDA for 2008 of EURO 6,551m and EURO 882m respectively and 7,800 employees. More information can be found at www.essent.eu
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