RWE sells majority shareholding in German transmission systems operator Amprion

(PresseBox) ( Essen, )
- Buyer is a consortium of financial investors with long-term strategy
- RWE to remain as minority shareholder
- Further step in implementation of divestment programme

RWE AG has reached an agreement on the sale of a 74.9 % share in transmission systems operator Amprion. .Amprion is the largest of the four German transmission systems operators.

The buyer is a consortium of mainly German institutional financial investors consisting of insurance companies and special pension funds. It is managed by Commerz Real AG, a subsidiary of Commerzbank AG. Members of the consortium are companies belonging to Munich Re and ERGO, represented by MEAG, Swisslife and Talanx as well as the Westfalen- Lippe doctors' pension fund.

RWE will retain a 25.1 % shareholding in Amprion. Dr. Juergen Grossmann, CEO of RWE AG said: "Network expansion requires very high levels of investment and we are spreading this burden. Amprion plans to invest over €3 billion over the next 10 years. In the investor consortium, we have gained a reliable, financially sound partner with a long-term strategy. RWE will continue to provide competent and reliable support to Amprion's transmission systems business."

In addition, RWE will temporarily hold a stake in the consortium, giving it a further indirect share in Amprion of 10.8 % on top of the minority shareholding of 25.1 %. Commerz Real AG will also temporarily hold the equivalent of a 13 % shareholding in Amprion. Commerz Real AG is to sell on this shareholding to further investors in the short term.

The sale price is based on an overall enterprise value of approximately €1.3 billion (as at 1 January 2011). This figure represents almost the entire regulated asset base of Amprion as recognised by the German regulator and is under eight times Amprion's recurrent earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). The transaction reduces RWE's net debt and will thus make a contribution towards the company's aim of improving its debt situation.

The sale of Amprion is a further step in RWE's divestment programme. The company had announced a disposal programme of up to €8 billion worth of company assets as part of its midterm planning strategy.

The transaction is subject in particular to the approval of the Supervisory Board of RWE AG as well as the responsible anti-trust authorities. Completion of the transaction is expected in the third quarter of 2011.

About Amprion

Amprion GmbH operates Germany's longest extra-high voltage grid, with a circuit length of 11,000 km, and is an important transmission systems operator in Europe. The Amprion grid supplies power to a population of over 27 million from Lower Saxony to the Alps. As an innovative service provider, Amprion provides industrial customers and network partners with maximum security of supply. Its network, with voltage levels of 380,000 and 220,000 volts, is accessible to all players in the electricity market on a non-discriminatory basis and on competitive and transparent terms. Amprion is also responsible for coordinating the interconnected system within Germany and the Northern section of Europe's extra-high voltage network.

About Commerz Real

Commerz Real is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Commerzbank AG with more than 40 years of market experience and approximately 40 billion euros in assets under management. The company combines comprehensive know-how in asset management and a broad-based structuring expertise to deliver its signature range of services: Fund products focused on tangibles ensure stable, long-term asset accumulation, while tailored financing concepts create new investment margins. The company's investment products include open-ended real estate funds, specialised real estate funds, and closed-end funds for real estate, aviation, renewable energy and ships. Among its spectrum of financing products are planning, construction and financing services in the context of commercial real estate and investment solutions for a wide variety of asset classes. In its role as the leasing company of Commerzbank Group, Commerz Real also offers tailored equipment leasing concepts.
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